Phishing attacks are on the rise, increasing at a rapid rate and taking down organizations around the world. When it comes to protecting your company’s data, you need to educate yourself about phishing emails so that you can protect your organization from these fraudulent scams.
In 2022, phishing emails will be rampant. There are a few things you can do to avoid becoming a victim of phishing. Read more in detail here: how can you avoid becoming a victim of phishing.
One of the most popular types of cybercrime nowadays is email phishing. Cybercriminals are constantly on the lookout for persons who are more susceptible to such assaults, such as older folks and technophobes. However, even the most tech-savvy individuals may fall victim to such assaults owing to a combination of ignorance and preoccupation. The necessity of the hour is to raise knowledge on how to spot and prevent phishing assaults. Today’s article will include ten phishing email avoidance techniques for 2022.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is the definition of a phishing email attack?
- 2 What to watch for in the event of a phishing attack
- 3 10 email phishing prevention methods to keep you safe from email scams
- 3.1 1. Make use of a decent email program.
- 3.2 2. Always (double-check) the sender’s email address.
- 3.3 3. If red flags are triggered, investigate the possibility of a faked email address.
- 3.4 4. If you absolutely need to, open URLs in an incognito browser window.
- 3.5 5. Evaluate the credibility of the connected website
- 3.6 6. Examine the email body for ridiculous spelling and grammatical problems.
- 3.7 7. Don’t give out your email address to just anybody.
- 3.8 8. Keep your banking and other important accounts on a different email address.
- 3.9 9. Check the status of your bank account on your own.
- 3.10 If you really must download email attachments, use effective antivirus software.
- 4 How can you defend yourself against phishing email scams?
What is the definition of a phishing email attack?
Before we get into the preventative methods, it’s crucial to understand what email phishing is. So, what is email phishing exactly?
An email phishing assault happens when a cyber-criminal impersonates a legitimate company by sending someone a fake email with the purpose of stealing their personal information by fooling them into clicking on dangerous links within or replying to the email.
An example of a phishing email
With the assistance of an example, let’s better comprehend the notion…
Assume you have a PayPal-linked bank account. This information was obtained by a fraudster from someplace. He’s now planning an email phishing assault on you. Here’s an example of what he may do:
The fraudster will contact you, claiming that your account has been hijacked, using a false email address and name (such as firstname.lastname@example.org / PayPal).
The email may then ask you to confirm your credit card information so that your account may be temporarily frozen to prevent any financial damage. When you click the link to validate your credit card information, you’ll be sent to a bogus PayPal page that looks just like the real thing.
If you believe all you’ve read, you’ll input all of your credit card information, and you’ll ultimately fall victim to an email phishing scam. Cybercriminals might then utilize this stolen information to do you financial harm beyond your wildest dreams.
What to watch for in the event of a phishing attack
Look for the following signs whenever you get an email…
1. Does the email seem to be threatening?
If it involves…, it’s a suspicious email.
- An odd greeting/tone
- An rare occurrence
- Spelling and grammatical faults that are out of the ordinary
- Formatting such as bold text, font sizes that are excessively huge or tiny, and so on.
When you get an email that invites you to click on a link to claim an offer or update your personal or financial information, be cautious. These emails are usually meant to defraud you of your personal and financial information. While some of these emails may be real, the most majority are phishing scams. In the second half of this piece, I’ll explain how to identify the difference between the two.
As a general guideline, any email that urges you to click on a link should be treated with caution.
3. Is the email informing you of a deal you can’t pass up?
Cybercriminals have become more sophisticated in recent years. They’ll first spy on your online habits, follow your social media accounts, and then send you an email with an impossible-to-refuse offer.
Let’s say you’ve just graduated from high school and are now actively hunting for work online. Perhaps you’ve been following some job boards on Facebook and LinkedIn lately. You may have even made a few remarks about your job hunt here and there. Cybercriminals will have access to anything you’ve written, liked, or followed on social media if your privacy settings are poor.
They may now use this chance to begin a phishing email assault on you by sending you a bogus employment offer that’s too good to pass up.
Similarly, depending on your profile, you may get a variety of additional bogus offers, such as:
- Obtaining a refund or credit from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
- 100% money back guarantee
- Winner of the Bounty / Lucky Draw
- Tickets to a movie or a sporting event are provided for free.
Take a look at this PayPal phishing email that arrived in my mailbox lately. It requests that I confirm receipt of a $90 PayPal gift. And that…this transaction will only display in my PayPal account if I verify my information. Oh, you’re serious? It’s a complete ruse.
4. A sense of eagerness to act quickly
An email with a false offer frequently follows a need to respond quickly. Scammers will pressure you to act right away, as if it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! It’ll be gone in a flash if you don’t act right now. This adds to the urgency of the offer, which seems to be a once-in-a-lifetime chance.
It’s an obvious red flag if an email encourages you to respond quickly or with exceptional haste.
10 email phishing prevention methods to keep you safe from email scams
1. Make use of a decent email program.
Using a reputable and trustworthy email provider, such as Gmail or Outlook, will help you avoid the majority of email phishing attempts that arrive in your inbox. When you open a suspicious email, for example, Gmail alerts you that it is risky and advises you not to access any of the email’s unsafe files or links.
A nudge notification from gmail when its internal algorithm detects a phishing attempt A nudge notification from gmail when its internal algorithm detects a potentially dangerous message
Because of its collective data intelligence, Gmail is able to spot such suspicious emails. Scammers don’t only target one person. They do, in fact, attack many accounts at the same time. As a result, the enhanced spam and phishing detection algorithm in Gmail has been successfully taught to screen out the vast majority of automated phishing attempts.
2. Always (double-check) the sender’s email address.
You shouldn’t depend just on software to protect you against phishing emails. Your own intellect and awareness may sometimes prove to be much more dependable and useful.
One of the few solid strategies to protect yourself against email phishing attempts is to carefully examine the sender’s email address. Make it a habit to double-check your email address. Particularly when suspicious red flags are raised.
Always double-check the sender’s email address. The above is an official Google message.
You must pay attention to the following crucial points:
A) Check to see whether the email was sent using a free public email service like Gmail or Hotmail. Official emails from your email provider, bank, stock broker, insurance firms, and other organizations are seldom sent using free public email clients. Customer service emails will always be sent from email@example.com rather than firstname.lastname@example.org.
B) Cyber thieves have been known to strive to outsmart one other. In an effort to imitate large organizations, they purchase misspelled domain names. PayPal.com, for example, might be imitated as paypaal.net, while bankofamerica.com may be imitated as bankofamericans.com or just bankofamerica.net. You must pay close attention to the domain name portion of the emails. A phishing assault is likely to be any email sent with a misspelled or unauthorized domain name.
Here’s an example of what I’m talking about…
An example of how to validate the sender’s email address as a safeguard against email phishing attempts.
3. If red flags are triggered, investigate the possibility of a faked email address.
A faked email address may also be used in a phishing email assault. The appearance of a faked email address is identical to that of a real business or institution. As a result, it’s simple to be duped into thinking the email came from a legitimate company.
As a result, properly evaluating email headers will aid in the avoidance of email phishing attempts resulting from faked emails. Here’s what you’ll need to consider:
a) ‘PASS’ DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) tag — this indicates that your email server has successfully authenticated the sender’s email by matching the public key of its DNS record with the private key used to sign that email.
b) SPF (Sender Policy Framework) tag: ‘PASS’ — this indicates that your receiving email server has confirmed the source IP address’s legitimacy.
c) DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) tag – ‘PASS’ — this indicates that the email was sent using a certain organization’s authorized domain name.
Proceed with care if any or all of the aforementioned header tags fail. It might be a phishing email.
4. If you absolutely need to, open URLs in an incognito browser window.
Always question why you are being asked to click on a link in an email. Even more so if you have a suspicion that something isn’t quite right during the first screening.
If you really must, copy the link and open it in a separate private browser window so that no personal information from the email is monitored or passed on when you click the malicious link.
5. Evaluate the credibility of the connected website
Even if you have happened to click on a phishing link, it is your utmost responsibility to check the authenticity of the URL and its connection security status in the web browser’s address bar. For example, if you have been asked to confirm your PayPal account details in a phishing email, check the authenticity of the URL that has been clicked and opened. It’s one of the good ways to prevent being a victim of phishing attacks even if you have clicked on a malicious email link. Here’s an example of what I’m talking about…
Illustration of a phishing assault
6. Examine the email body for ridiculous spelling and grammatical problems.
Seeing funny spelling or grammatical errors in business emails is a glaring red sign that a phishing attempt is imminent. So always be cautious and avoid clicking on any links or downloading any documents. Examine the sender’s email address as well as the email headers (see tip #3 above) to rule out the possibility of a faked email.
7. Don’t give out your email address to just anybody.
Using your main email address to sign up for every account/app/website under the sun puts you at risk. Many individuals also inadvertently put their email address in public forums and remarks. This makes it simple for thieves to gather your email addresses and use them to send spam and phishing emails.
8. Keep your banking and other important accounts on a different email address.
Creating a different email address for your banking and other critical accounts is a smart idea. Once you’ve created a different email address, keep it secret and don’t use it on any other public accounts, such as social media, gaming applications, or forums. This will drastically limit the likelihood of your email address becoming into the hands of fraudsters.
9. Check the status of your bank account on your own.
Stop, don’t hurry, if you get an email informing you that your bank account has been stopped and that you must instantly click on a link to unlock your account. Instead of panicking, check the status of your bank account on your own. If everything seems to be in order, the email is most likely a phishing scam.
If you really must download email attachments, use effective antivirus software.
If your job needs you to download email attachments, install a strong antivirus program on your computer. As a result, even if you receive a harmful file from a phishing email, your antivirus software may block you from installing it on your computer.
How can you defend yourself against phishing email scams?
What other strategies or security measures do you use to protect yourself against email phishing attacks? Please let us know what you think in the comments section below…
The “phishing email training” is a type of scam that has been around for a while. In 2022, it will be even more common to see these types of scams. Here are 10 tips to help you avoid phishing emails in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can phishing emails be prevented?
A: Phishing emails are difficult to prevent, as they could be a spoofed email that has been sent with the intention of stealing personal information. Some ways you can protect yourself against phishing is by using two-factor authentication and reading news articles before clicking on links in emails.
What are 5 ways to detect phishing emails?
A: Here are 5 ways to detect phishing emails.
1) The email is sent from a domain that you do not recognize or use in your organization
2) The email has the recipient listed at another company than where they work. For example, if someones name appears on an email as email@example.com and their title says something like registration manager, it could be a fake account created by scammers for this scam
3) Be suspicious of any website with no information about who owns the site other than its address (something like https://www.nameofthewebsitehere-withoutanyinformationaboutwhoownsit). This can include websites without contact info, social media accounts without bios, etc
4) When in doubt, click one button and send yourself an SMS message with confirmation of the senders identity before clicking anything else – some tech support companies will also have these available
5) Most importantly: dont take shortcuts! Dont open attachments unless you know exactly what theyre supposed to be
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