24 February 2021

Can You Spot a Phishing Email?

Dear Joe. This email is to notify your bank account has been locked. Please respond quickly to get this resolved.

Have you ever received an email like the above and found yourself scratching your head wondering if it’s real? Scammers will use such emails to trick you into sharing personal information. These emails and sometimes text messages can look very legitimate, but there are steps you can take to avoid falling into a trap.

Here are 7 red flags to watch for when identifying a phishing email:

1. Watch for overly generic content & greetings

Cyber criminals will send a large batch of emails. Look for examples like “Dear valued customer.”

2. Examine the entire From: email address

The first part of the email address may be legitimate, but the last part could be off by a letter or include a number in the usual domain. Moreover, make sure the domain matches the company website. No major company will email you from a Gmail or Hotmail account.

3. Look for urgency or demanding actions

“You’ve won! Click here to redeem prize,” or “We have your browser history pay now or we are telling your boss.” These actions may be used to create urgency and entice you to click on a bad link.

4. Carefully check all links

Hover your mouse over the link and see if the link destination matches where the email implies you will be taken. On a mobile device, you can determine this by holding down on the link. A pop-up will appear and show you a preview of the page you’ll be directed to. Do not actually click the link while performing a long-press. 🙂

5. Notice misspellings, incorrect grammar & odd phrasing

Sometimes the best defense really is a good defense. To truly protect your data, organizations should use some form of security software on their networks. You can be vigilant by being skeptical of all unexpected email and reading carefully.

6. Check for secure websites

Any webpage where you enter personal information should have a URL with https://. The “s” stands for secure. However, while https:// is necessary, this does not imply the site is “secure.”  https:// sites can also be for malicious purposes.

7. Don’t click on suspicious attachments

Virus containing attachments might have an intriguing message encouraging you to open them such as “Here is the Schedule I promised.”

Our team would love to help train you and your staff on how to spot phishing scams before they occur. Get in touch with us for more information!


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About Red Rhino

Red Rhino provides Managed IT Services, Support and Consulting to businesses in Vancouver and the Fraser Valley including Abbotsford, Langley, Surrey, Burnaby, Richmond, Coquitlam, Delta, and White Rock.