Spot that Phishing E-Mail Before It Catches You

by Guest Columnist

Most tech-savvy people think they’re clever enough to recognize a phishing attempt—and they should think again. Cyberattacks are getting smarter and criminals’ phishing skills are getting better. Here are some tips that can help you avoid a costly (and embarrassing) error.

Sharon Florentine writes, “No one wants to believe they’d fall for a phishing scam. Yet, according to Verizon’s 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report, 30 percent of phishing e-mails get opened. Yes, that’s right—30 percent. That incredible click-through rate explains why these attacks remain so popular: it just works.

“Phishing works because cybercriminals take great pains to camouflage their ‘bait’ as legitimate e-mail communication, hoping to convince targets to reveal login and password information and/or download malware, but there are still a number of ways to identify phishing e-mails. Here are five of the most common elements to look for.

“1. Expect the unexpected. In a 2016 report from Wombat Security, organizations reported that the most successful phishing attacks were disguised as something an employee was expecting, like an HR document, a shipping confirmation or a request to change a password that looked like it came from the IT department.

“Make sure to scrutinize any such e-mails before you download attachments or click on any included links, and use common sense. Did you actually order anything for which you’re expecting a confirmation? Did the e-mail come from a store you don’t usually order supplies from? If so, it’s probably a phishing attempt.

“Don’t hesitate to call a company’s customer service line, your HR department, or IT department to confirm that any such e-mails are legitimate—it’s better to be safe than sorry.”

Read the full article for more tips.



Share Your Comments on This Tip

If you have comments about this tip and want to post them on this page to share your thoughts with other IT Daily Advisor readers, simply enter your comments below. NOTE: Your name will appear on any comments posted.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *