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Tip of the Week: Warning Signs of a Phishing Attack

Tip of the Week: Warning Signs of a Phishing Attack

The modern cyberattack is more of a slight of hand than it is a direct attack. With encryption protecting a lot of business data, hackers need to find ways to circumvent that technology. They often do this though phishing. This week, we will take a look at some of the warning signs of phishing to help give you a little better awareness. 

1. There’s an Unexpected Attachment or Link

Phishing can happen in multiple mediums, but most of the phishing attacks will come through email. When you get an unexpected email that includes links and attachments, there is a good chance that the email is probably an attack. In-email phishing links can take you to a website that is filled with malware, leaving your computer/network exposed. Attachments can deploy malware as well, and all of them can be disguised pretty well depending on the content of the email.

Want to see what we mean? Here’s an explanation on wikipedia.com.

This article explains absolutely nothing, because it’s a random color. (Get it? We tricked you!) It’s that same trick that can get people to click on the links that don’t have the same friendly disposition. 

2. The Sender’s Email Seems Off

So, you receive an email that seems legitimate, but something is a little off. Scammers these days have become masters in making you interact with messages that you would never normally interact with. In fact, these hackers can get really crafty, replacing “Amazon” with “Arnazon” and other blink-and-you’ll-miss-it tricks.

To keep from being a victim, you always need to read carefully.

3. There are Other Questionable Elements

This may be a bit vague, but in a phishing email there are often other clues that you wouldn’t find in a professional correspondence. These include:

  • Spelling and grammar errors. You wouldn’t anticipate a company like Microsoft or Amazon sending you an email riddled with mistakes, so if there are grammar mistakes from companies like this, or banks, you will want to steer clear. 
  • Time-sensitivity. One prevalent strategy these scammers use is to make it sound like you need to take some urgent steps to satisfy the sender. This is a telltale sign of a phishing attack. 
  • Requests for personal information. Most businesses have official ways of contacting you. These hardly ever include email or social media. If a message wants you to provide a login or any other personal information, you’ll want to be very, very cautious. 

You don’t have to fall victim to scammers. If you use your head and think before you click, you’ll likely mitigate the effectiveness of any potential phishing attack. Have you been phished lately? Tell us your stories in the comments and be sure to check back to our blog for more great tips about keeping you and your sensitive data secure. 

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Thursday, January 23, 2020

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