Is it really them?

November 9, 2018

Today i will share with you a couple of tips on how to identify if an email is a phishing email.

 These days It's difficult to distinguish email that is from a friend or a stranger posing as a friend.   There are a few quick and easy things to look for that can tip you off immediately on who the email is from, or what its purpose may be.  

 

First thing is to always check what email address is in the From field.  The name in this section isn't important and spoofers (fakers) can insert any name they want in there.  Think of it kind of like the return address on a mailed envelope.  Noone in the email delivery system checks to see if this name is real or not.  Looking at the email address will give you a better idea who it's from.  This too can be spoofed, but we will cover that another time.  For the sake of simplicity let's assume it says its from a friend, but the email address isn't your friends email address.  At this point, you know the email is fake, mark it as spam and delete it.  It's not likely cause for you to notify your friend at this point.

 

If the email address and name seem correct, the next thing to look for is the email body.  What's its purpose?  Is it something you are expecting?  Is it asking you for information or to click a link?  Most email that is sent for phishing information from you will contain some urgent message containing a link.  IMPORTANT:  never click any link in an email without mousing (hovering) over the link to see where its sending you.  If its a website that you recognize, it may be legitimate.  If its something you dont understand, dont click it.

 

If you do feel bold and click the link, pay close attention to what page it brings you to.  Always be very weary of websites asking you to verify your credentials... ANY credentials.

 

Finally, during your skimming for signs of phishing or scamming, head towards the bottom of the message.  Who are they claiming to be?  Is there a contact link?  Some email footers from legitimate companys such as Microsoft 365 will have some links near the bottom for things like removing yourself from a mail list, or some contact info page.  Many scammers will copy these links but make them into an image not actual links.  Hover over them to see if they are real or just an image.  Again, if its a link, check to see where its bringing you.  If its bringing you to a place that you dont recognize or a place unrelated to the claimed sender, this should raise a red flag for you.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

If you are ever unsure of an email sent to you askign to verify information, a best practice is either to ignore it, or to contact the person claiming to have sent it.  If you are ever unsure about info you have given out in the past concerning verification or otherwise, go change those passwords.  Its always better to be safe than sorry!

 

 

As always, if you have any questions or need help regarding phishing emails or any other computer and IT related isuues, please contact us!  We are always here and are happy to help take the mystery out of technology for you!

 

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