4 Simple Tips for Identifying Suspicious Emails

4 Simple Tips for Identifying Suspicious Emails

Tip 1: Check the display name and the full address 

A common tactic by cybercriminals is to spoof the display name of the email, spoofing is an email in which the from address is altered to appear as though the email was sent from a familiar brand. They could look something like this: 

Note that the second example is slightly more sophisticated in that the from address seems more realistic however pay close attention to the domain. Look at the address in the header do not open the email. 

Tip 2: Pay attention to the subject line, beware of threatening language, spelling & grammar errors.

Fear and invoking a sense of urgency is a common phishing tactic, subject lines such as “Warning: Unauthorised login attempt” or “Urgent Notice: Confirm Details” is a warning sign. Brands are quite serious about how they communicate with their customers and would often steer away from such language, legitimate messages would not have spelling errors or poor grammar.  

Tip 3: Impersonal Salutations

Cyber-attacks are usually automated, therefore the salutation will most likely be impersonal i.e. “Dear Valued Customer”, the success of phishing attempts lies in the volume; more recipients equal a higher probability for success. 

Tip 4: Avoid opening strange links and unexpected attachments 

These attachments and links can contain viruses or malware once opened they can damage files on your computer, steal your passwords or spy on you without your knowledge. 

A general rule of thumb is, if you do not know the sender and if you were not expecting the email do not open it. Cyber-attacks are on the rise and are becoming more sophisticated as technology to combat it progresses, so rather be overly cautious. Should you receive a suspicious email do not open it and delete the email.  If you are uncertain or continually receive such emails, contact your managed IT service provider for consultation and advise on improving your security.