6 Ways To Detect A Phishing Email

Phishing Email

What is a phishing email attack?

Phishing email attacks are designed to trick the receiver and lure them into entering personal information. Phishing emails are also used to distribute malicious links or attachments. As a result, these attempts involve invoking a sense of urgency, fear, confusion or promise of financial gain.

The most common form of phishing is aimed at many users, whilst other attacks are more targeted to a specific individual or someone of high authority within an organisation. Overall, whilst some phishing attacks are easier to identify, others are increasingly sophisticated and can be much more difficult to recognise.

How to detect a phishing email?

Most workplace technology environments have security features implemented. However, it is important for users to remain vigilant and be able to identify a suspicious email.

Following are 6 ways to detect a phishing email:

  1. Beware of emails that require the recipient’s immediate response usually a link or
  2. Be cautious with emails that start with a generic greeting such as ‘Dear Customer.
  3. Watch out for any urgent subject lines or emails that claim: 
    • Your storage space is full” (Mailbox, iCloud, OneDrive, SharePoint etc.)
    • “Your purchase order has been approved”
    • “You could win a $50 gift card to restaurant”
    • “Your account has been suspended”
    • “Please update your address.
  4. Check for any spelling mistakes, poor grammar or inaccuracy in the email itself and look for anything that may seem suspicious.
  5. Hover your mouse over the links you are being asked to click Without Clicking.  This will show you where the link really goes.  If it is a phishing case, it will be directed to the attacker’s website.
  6. Review the signature legitimate organisations always provide contact information. Lack of contact details imply the email may be a phishing attempt.

How to protect yourself and your organisation from phishing schemes?

  1. The most common form of phishing involves contacting users by email and asking them to verify an account by providing information to a false website that looks legitimate. Always go to the original website on a new tab rather than clicking on the link from an email. This will allow you to check the authenticity of the email.
  2. Never enter your 365 login details to non 365 applications.
  3. Verify a sender’s identity before replying to any emails requesting personal information. If you are not sure, start a new email thread to the person who supposedly sent you the email to
  4. Banks and most other trusted organisations wont ask you for confidential or personal information via an email message.  Therefore, don’t enter any information.
  5. Do not click on any attachments you weren’t expecting. These attachments contain viruses and can install Malware that can perform a variety of functions.  For example extraction
    of login credentials or account information from victims, spy on you without your knowledge, or infect networks with a crypto locker virus.

What if you click on a malicious email?

If your computer is infected with a virus or you click on a link or attachment that you suspect is malware or ransomware, disconnect the laptop from the network (both wired and wireless).  Most importantly we recommend that you firstly, shut down your system immediately and secondly, contact the cyber security experts at Techstream Solutions to assist you.  We will perform scans to determine the nature of the scam.  Furthermore, we will implement security features to minimise the impact of any damage caused.

Email security problems? Speak to our Sydney based IT support team for assistance. 

Reliable business IT services for all industries.

Based on the Northern Beaches, Techstream Solutions are Sydney IT consultants who provide computer support services to a wide range of industries, government bodies and not-for-profits.

Our clients enjoy a dedicated local computer support help desk and convenient ticket management system where our highly experienced consultants and engineers are readily available to provide effective ITC support assistance.  We understand that downtime can be stressful and very detrimental to your business operations.

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We aim to optimise your workplace IT environment so it will operate at maximum efficiency. Furthermore, any ITC issues will be resolved swiftly by our expert support team. Overall, we can attend to all your business computer support requirements including managed IT, cloud services, backup and recovery,  and security. Our IT consultants can manage every aspect of your ITC infrastructure projects and upgrades.

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