How to Spot a Phishing Email

Integral IT - How to spot a dodgy email

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Successful Phishing attacks can cost your business and you a lot of money. So how can you check to see if you have received one or if it is genuine? It is much more straightforward than it may seem at first. Handling a cyber attack attempt can be nerve-wracking, but in just two steps, you can see if the email is genuine or not. 

There has been a substantial rise in the number of Phishing emails sent in recent years. If you are new to Phishing emails, this is when a cybercriminal sends you an email that prompts you to do something such as click on a link or enter your details(bank details, passwords). This can give your login/bank/work details to the cybercriminal, leading to them having access to your accounts, money, and data. These links can also download malware onto your computer, leading to your data being encrypted.

Unfortunately, Phishing Emails are now a part of everyday life. The best thing that we can do is protect ourselves by teaching ourselves what to look for when spotting a Phishing email.

Spotting a Phishing Email

As you can see in this photo, there are six emails received, two of which we are going to look at.  At first glance,  these emails all look perfectly normal. 

Spotting a Phishing Email

The first thing we will look at is the domain; this is everything in the email address that comes after the ‘@’. This email has been made to seem like it is coming from @amazon.co.uk. However, the actual domain they have used is @amzno.co.uk. They have written the field in this way so that it can be mistaken for the existing amazon domain with a very brief glance. This is not the actual amazon email; it is a phishing email. 

The second way we can be sure that this is a phishing email is to check the hyperlink on the email. To make sure that this link is not genuine, hover your mouse over the hyperlink, do not click this. as you hover over the link, a web address will appear at the base of your screen like this: 

Spotting a Phishing Email

As this link clearly says nothing to do with the official Amazon website, it is not safe to click on and is, therefore, a phishing email.

Spotting a Phishing Email

This Email shown above is perpetrating to come from WPX.net. Firstly, we will look at the domain; WPX.net as shown below, which is indeed a genuine domain, indicating that this email is not a phishing email.  

Spotting a Phishing Email

As we can now see that WPX.net is a genuine website, we need to double-check by looking at the hyperlink in the email. 

Spotting a Phishing Email

Here we hover our mouse over the link; without clicking, we can see that the connection it has advertised to take us to is the same as the one it will take us to. This also uses the correct domain for WPX.net and proves that this email is genuine and safe. 

Using the two steps that have been shown In this blog, you will be able to check now the validity of emails and spot Phishing emails that you can make sure you delete. This is a simple yet essential way to keep your businesses and your data protected from cybercriminals and their attacks. 

For more on Phishing, check out another of our blogs: the difference between Phishing and Pharming 

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