Headers Phishing 1

Gone are the days of cybercriminals pretending to be Nigerian princes to gain access to your private data. Today’s cybercriminals are employing more complex social engineering tactics to deceive individuals and gain access to credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, and entire networks. From re-creating internal emails with compromised links to replicating emails from trusted organizations, phishing attacks can now deceive even the most diligent employees. Here are the latest—and more subtle—indicators that an email might be a phishing attack.

Key Warning Signs

Some of the lesser known indicators you should be on the lookout for include:

You Don’t Recognize the Sender

The first thing you should consider when examining an email for legitimacy is the sender. If you don’t recognize the sender or the sender distorts a seemingly familiar email address, you should be careful about its content. Anytime you receive an email from a sender you don’t recognize, you should immediately be suspicious and not engage any of its content (i.e., clicking links, forwarding, or download attachments) until you have confirmed it’s legitimate.

At the same time, just because you recognize the sender of the email doesn’t immediately means it’s safe. Cybercriminals can compromise email accounts and use them to exploit other users. We’ve even seen internal phishing attacks purportedly sent by a company’s CEO. These types of phishing attacks can be a little more difficult to discern. Keep reading to discover some of their telltale traits.

Asking for Personal Information

You should also be immediately suspicious of any emails requesting personal information you wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing online. This information includes name, address, logins, passwords, Social Security numbers, drivers license numbers, credit card numbers, and anything else you wouldn’t post online. Legitimate institutions and businesses never reach out to confirm confidential information over email. If you receive an unexpected email that asks for personal information, it’s almost always going to be a phishing attempt.

External Linking

If an email encourages you to click on a link, you should always be careful before clicking. Oftentimes, links are masked as legitimate but redirect you to an unsafe URL. If you hover over the link and notice a URL you don’t recognize, chances are it’s unsecured. Online tools like isitPhishing and PhishingCheck can help you determine whether a link’s URL is legitimate or if it redirects you to another site.

Suspicious Attachments

One of the most common ways for cybercriminals to infiltrate an organization’s network is by spreading unsafe attachments via phishing emails. Simply by downloading and opening an unsafe attachment, your network can be exposed to threats such as malware, data breaches, and even ransomware. Cybercriminals do everything they can to make attachments look legitimate even when they aren’t. Before opening or downloading any attachments, make sure they have been run through your organization’s virus scanner and have been confirmed as credible.

A Sense of Urgency

Just as infomercials encourage you to buy products right away by offering a limited-time deal, phishing emails trick individuals by claiming an urgent matter needs to be addressed to avoid unwanted consequences.

What to Do Next

Fortunately, harm rarely comes from merely opening a phishing email. In fact, opening the email can often help you determine whether it’s phishing or legitimate. The danger comes when you click links, reply with personal information, or download and open attachments. Once you’ve determined that an email is phishing, you shouldn’t engage the email or the sender in any way.

Depending on your organization’s policies, you should report the email to your IT department as phishing. They will investigate the matter further and get to the bottom of the issue. In the best-case scenario, you prevent a phishing attack and inform your IT team of tactics cybercriminals are using to target your organization. In the worst-case scenario, the email may not turn out to be phishing, but you’re better off safe than sorry. In short, if you’re in any way suspicious that an email may be phishing, go ahead and report it. Little harm comes from a mistaken report, while a lot of mistakes can happen because of unreported phishing.

If your organization doesn’t have any phishing policies in place, it should. If you receive a phishing email, this means cybercriminals are targeting your organization, and you need to have concrete strategies in place to guard against these threats. In the meantime, you can mark the email as spam to filter out future emails.

Ongoing Phishing Training Solutions

Just as cybercriminals are continually adapting their tactics to exploit networks, you need to be prioritizing ongoing training that empowers your team to respond to ever-changing threats. Fortunately, today’s marketplace overs a variety of ongoing phishing training solutions like KnowBe4 and Rapid7 to keep your team on their toes.

Virtual phishing training works by sporadically sending out automated, simulated phishing emails to your team. The email works like a real-world phishing attack by encouraging them to click a link, reply with information, or open an attachment. If they fall for the attack, they’re required to complete virtual training within a specified time frame. If they spot the attack and report it as phishing, they’re congratulated and encouraged to keep up the excellent work.

Sitting your team down and informing them of the key warning signs that an email may be phishing is a critical first step. However, they need concrete experience to be able to respond appropriately to real-world phishing threats. Simulated phishing attacks bridge the gap between theory and practice by offering a safe environment for your team to test their skills while keeping them alert to real-world vulnerabilities.

Los Angeles IT Support and Cybersecurity Solutions

If your organization is ready to start taking a more proactive approach to cybersecurity, reach out to the experts at Be Structured today. We’ll work with you to pinpoint industry-specific threats and develop a comprehensive cybersecurity platform that protects your organization today while preparing for tomorrow’s threats.

35 thoughts on “How to Spot a Phishing Email

  1. I have a small business currently but as soon as we grow some more I will consider to contrat the services of Los Angeles IT Support.

    This post was very valuable, I have received many messages lately from people that I don’t know but I never open them.

  2. Users need to recognise a phishing email when he sees one..proactive approach to cyber security is important and if companies don’t know how to go about it,Los Angeles IT Support like bestructured should be con
    Los Angeles IT Support contacted

  3. IT Support in Los Angeles are doing great job to help individuals to be protected while online. Thanks for this wonderful guiding article.

  4. Thanks for sharing, Be Structured! Los Angeles IT Consulting would help in handling the phishing policy if contacted anytime the company receives any phishing email.

  5. I think part of Los Angeles IT support measures should include training staff members on how to identify phishing emails. I have seen way too many people fall prey to phishing.

  6. I’m glad a lot of Los Angeles IT services nowadays incorporate training on how to spot phishing emails. It’s a good step in the right direction.

  7. Among the most important IT services for Los Angeles is prevention of phishing attacks. Its mind blowing how much is lost every year just because of phishing.

  8. A lot of help in dealing with phishing can be gotten through Los Angeles IT Outsourcing. It’s a good thing that many companies out there are willing to help the less tech savvy companies on how to deal with such issues.

  9. Enlisting the help of a Los Angeles MSP to help one deal with phishing can be a good method of preventing and curbing phishing emails. Thanks a lot for the great tips on how to identify phishing emails.

  10. It’s encouraging to see that Los Angeles IT Support teams are finally treating phishing with the seriousness it deserves. Billions are lost annually to phishing and it’s high time this stopped.

  11. IT Support in Los Angeles should prioritize elimination of phishing scams. A lot of identity theft and fraud has been plaguing the industry.

  12. IT Services for Los Angeles ought to incorporate systems through which they can best sensitize their staff on the best ways to tackle and prevent phishing emails. The article is very informative and well researched. Much thanks for sharing.

  13. Any Computer Company in Los Angeles should take phishing scams very seriously. The area has been a hot target for scams like this in recent years.

  14. Los Angeles Managed Service Providers can greatly help to sensitize a company on the best ways to identify phishing emails and even the measures to take to deal with them. You can never go wrong when you enlist help from the professionals.

  15. Your company as one of the best Los Angeles IT Service provider is helping us fight cybercriminals. People just have to be careful when downloading and opening an unsafe attachment since one’s network can be exposed to threats like yhis.

  16. This always happens to me. An email that says I have won even though I Have not joined anything is usually a sign for me. Thanks for the tips. We may not have Los Angeles IT Support in these parts but at least it gives me signs what to look for.

  17. These are wonderful tips. I have received a lot of these emails. In some instances I have given them my personal info not knowing it was not legitimate. I had to change all of my numbers due to too many phone calls i received from unknown numbers.

  18. These are great tips. We really have to avoid those phishing emails. And there is no better step than to seek the help of IT Services for Los Angeles.

  19. Next time before I open an email, I must make sure I recognize the sender, just for my security. That’s why I love Be Structured as Los Angeles IT support of my choice, because they always inform me on new things.

  20. This is a great highlight of the main tactics used to hack your internet through the email. I’m always very cautious providing any private details online. Its great that we have this computer company in Los Angeles that is always updating us on the latest threats online.

  21. External attachments are always very risky especially if you don’t know their source. Its great that you have highlighted all these risks and still remains the best Los Angeles IT Support company of all times.

  22. I get phishing email all the time, when once I can’t recognize the sender then that will be all for me. I don’t need to even click on it. This is why you are the best IT Consulting for Los Angeles because you give the best information too.

  23. For all services in Los Angeles IT Support sector, the most important is facing out email attacks. In our organisation we were once attacked and a series of training followed after that. It’s always good to report any email that feels suspicious.

  24. Los Angeles IT outsourcing has been very diligent in educating public about the safety and harm accompanied with this IT world. It’s good to know that thwy are writing articles like this. Education is the very basic in knowledge. Thank you.

  25. I am in total agreement that as cyber threats continue to evolve, so does the need for IT solutions. Be Structured is the perfect example of how IT Support in Los Angeles is so vital for businesses with sensitive monetary information. I’d much rather take the time investigating suspicious emails and educating staff on network vulnerabilities, than having to face a real cyber theft in itself. Being prepared and constantly on guard is the way all businesses should work.

  26. I know Los Angeles IT Consulting is a big part of this but bottomline phising can be avoided by mere common sense. I received spam everyday and I do not open them or gust delete them all together.

  27. Be Structured is doing a wonderful job for this post. Everything still boils down to security conscious and that is why Los Angeles IT Support is there to put you through when challenged with any phishing mails!

  28. These are great tips but if you are not used to it, these emails seems like the original. It is a good choice to have a professional sort it out out like a Computer Company in Los Angeles.

  29. I love the fact that you highlighted the ongoing phishing training. This will make you be ahead of the cyybercriminals. Be Structured the IT Consulting for Los Angeles always keeps yo ahead.

  30. The most useful information I have read the whole of today phishing email is bad news and it must stopped. Thanks Los Angeles Managed Service Providers for alerting us on this.

  31. Los Angeles IT Support teams should take phishing scams more seriously now more than ever. The attackers are getting more sophisticated with each passing day.

  32. IT Support in Los Angeles should heavily incorporate measures against phishing and email viruses. Thanks a lot for sharing this.

  33. It would be a good idea to engage in some Los Angeles IT Consulting to know the best way to deal with phishing. There is so much that can be learnt from consulting.

  34. Los Angeles IT Outsourcing can help quite a bit in formulating a mechanism for dealing with and even preventing phishing. I’m very grateful for the informative piece.

  35. The Los Angeles MSP that can best handle issues phishing is Be Structured. Thanks for remaining the market leader.

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