4 Ways To Identify a Phishing Email

Modern consumers have to keep their eyes peeled for cyberattacks. If you aren’t careful, hackers can gain control of your personal information and use it for nefarious purposes. Rather than waiting until you fall victim to a cyberattack, you need to work on taking preventative action. 

Email phishing attacks are one of the biggest threats to American consumers and business owners. These emails look like they are sent from a trustworthy brand. In reality, these emails usually have links or files that contain viruses. When deployed, these viruses can gain access to sensitive information on your computer. 

A recent study found that nearly 70 percent of all phishing emails are opened by their targets. Getting to know more about phishing emails and how they are usually structured can help you avoid falling victim to this attack. Below are some ways you can identify a phishing email. 

1. Keep an Eye Out For Suspicious Attachments

As a tech-savvy consumer, you have to educate yourself about the various scams hackers use to steal sensitive information. Phishing emails designed to implant a virus on the recipient’s computer generally feature attachments. When receiving a file via email from an unfamiliar source, you need to proceed with caution. 

In most cases, malware download files will have extensions like .scr, .exe., and .zip. Having a powerful virus scanner downloaded on your computer is a great way to check these files before they’re opened. 

2. Spelling and Grammar Errors

Businesses that use email to communicate with consumers work hard to remove any spelling or grammar errors before sending out messages. If you receive an email from an unknown sender that is filled with grammatical and spelling errors, you need to be careful. Many of the phishing emails you receive will come from other countries. The people writing these emails generally speak very poor English. This makes it difficult for them to craft an error-free message. 

3. Phishing Emails Usually Have a Sense of Urgency

An overwhelming number of phishing emails will use threats to scare the recipient. Some people get extremely worried if they receive an email from a seemingly reputable source that threatens things like fines or jail time. Hackers thrive on a false sense of urgency to get email recipients to act out of character. 

Rather than having a knee-jerk reaction to these urgent emails, take a step back and think about how logical the threats in question are. 

4. Watch Out For Requests For Payment Information or Login Credentials

Some phishing emails feature links to fake landing pages. These pages look legitimate, but they are anything but. Generally, there will be a login box on the page. Putting login credentials into this box will lead to them being stolen by hackers. You also need to avoid putting any payment details on these pages. You can tell the landing page in question is fake due to the spelling/grammar errors it will contain and the poor web design. 

If you encounter one or more of these issues in an email, you need to delete it immediately.

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