4 Ways To Tell If You’ve Been Sent A Malicious Email

4 Ways To Tell If You’ve Been Sent A Malicious Email

Checking emails are a habitual part of the professional business day, in fact 99% of email users check their email as often as 20 times in one day! Knowing this, threat actors commonly use emails to targets unsuspecting users, and the most spread cyber threat is malware sent through phishing emails. So how does Malware work exactly? These are messages carefully curated to trick people into downloading a malicious file or virus. Therefore, it is critical that you know how to identify potential harmful emails and how to avoid falling victim to them.

Can you identify email bait? If not, these are a few tell tale signs that you have been sent a malicious email. Scammers usually go for easy targets like sending a message from your banking institution, credit card company or a shipping tracking status. Their main goal is to get you to give up sensitive information like login credentials, so they create lures and a sense of urgency to encourage you to do so. Typical scams involve, supporting relief funds for disaster and charities, lucrative investment opportunities or even someone expressing their love interest. The best form of protection against malicious emails, is to know what to do – or more specifically what not to do.

These 4 tips are clear indicators of a malicious email and can help you to avoid getting scammed.  

Unwelcomed Emails

Always keep your guard up about emails that were unsolicited, especially if it requests that you divulge personal information. Any professional such as your co-worker or boss would most likely already have relevant information on file for you, and the same goes for someone you do business with.

It is also unlikely that a legitimate sender would ask for sensitive information via email, this is usually something requested over the phone or during a meeting. When in doubt, it is always best to contact the person directly to verify their request and why they need it.

Fake URLs

Website URLS are very easy to disguise as something other than what it is.

The main trick is to convince someone that it is real so that they click on it. Scammers can try to name their fake website something like the real one they are attempting to spoof. An example would be http://www.pacetechnicol.io instead of https://www.pacetechnical.com. Before you visit any website from an email, be sure to analyze the entire web domain name before clicking on anything.

Pro Tip: you can type the URL from any email into a search engine like Google and the results will be able to tell you if it is fake or not.

The URLS Don’t Match

One common phishing tactic is to hyperlink a fake URL with similar text from the real one. Here is an example of this: a URL may appear as http://www.pacetechnical.com but, may lead to a different URL with an infectious virus. Always double check by hovering over the link to reveal the real URL. Some URLs will display the link at the bottom of the screen, and in that case, you should stay clear of any links that do not line up.

Poor Language & Grammar

Language is not always a hacker’s strong suit and a good way to tell if an email is malicious is by poor grammar. Threat actors usually do not take extra lengths to double check spelling errors.

A professional company will go the extra mile to make sure that their emails are proofed. On the other hand, legitimate establishments do take the time to ensure their professional image is protected and hire professionals with the language skills to proofread all their communications.

If you have ever seen an email that you suspect might be malicious, you should flag it immediately. For more information on phishing scams, you can read this article here.

By being properly educated on malicious emails and other types of phishing scams, you can avert a devastating cyber incident. Avoid getting hit with ransomware, malware, or phishing attacks by contacting us today.

PACE Technical can help to safeguard your Toronto business from viruses, phishing scams and harmful emails with a strong network security that can scan phishing emails and block malicious websites. Since tools are not enough, we also offer user training so that your employees will always be able to identify a scam and act accordingly. Book a meeting with us today to find out more information on our cybersecurity services in Toronto.

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