In the world of increased cybersecurity also comes increased cyber hacks. So much data is stored online, and it’s easier than ever for hackers to steal your information. Much simpler than breaking into a home nowadays! Scammers are smart, and they’ve learned techniques to increase the likelihood of you adhering to their request. Don’t worry – we’ll discuss a few ways to spot a phishing email so you don’t fall prey to their traps.
A phishing scam is a spam message trying to get you to voluntarily hand over personal information. Scammers will steal your passwords, account numbers, and even social security numbers. Thousands of phishing emails are sent every day and unfortunately, many are successful in stealing your information.
It doesn’t just stop at emails. Have you ever received spam texts or phone calls? These are also phishing scams to steal your personal information. It’s important to recognize phishing schemes and stay aware of current phishing trends.
Here are a few signs you have received a phishing email or text. As a reminder, do your due diligence and confirm the legitimacy of these messages before responding or clicking any links.
Scammers are clever, so they will try to elicit fear or anxiety to get you to open and click their messages. Scammers are after money, so they send a message causing enough concern for you to forget to double-check the legitimacy of the message. Here are a few examples to watch out for:
Did you notice how these examples are trying to get you to hand over bank or credit card information? Be extra cautious when receiving messages like this. Instead of responding or clicking the link, log in to the account in question and see if you have the same message waiting for you. You can also contact the company directly and ask if the message is real. If it’s not, the company will want to be aware of phishing schemes using their company as the face.
Messages could also include threats to leak sensitive information. These are highly concerning to the average recipient, and action could be taken without thinking if this is legitimate. Spoiler alert: it never is. Do not respond to the threat, and don’t take any action.
You can also check who the email is from. Oftentimes, it’s an email address you’ve never heard of, or the scammer is posing as someone from your contact list. CEOs are commonly targeted for phishing emails. The “CEO” (AKA scammer) will request something from an employee, but the email will be incorrect. Say the company alias is target.com. The phishing email could be gmail.com. Pay attention to who you are receiving emails from. Also, the request will likely be unusual. If it goes against what’s normal, it’s a clue you’ve received a phishing message. Don’t follow the instructions and reach out to the person directly to confirm.
Everyone makes mistakes, but large companies have systems in place to avoid these as much as possible. Simple mistakes combined with messages requesting your information are suspicious.
It’s an email best practice for organizations to greet email recipients by their first name. Vague or general greetings could be a sign of a phishing email. This also goes for people you know. For example, if a friend emails you, “Greetings, John,” and that friend always starts messages with, “Hey John,” that’s a red flag.
Clicking a link from a phishing email guarantees your information is stolen. Do not click on any links or open attachments. Unsolicited attachments are common gameplay by hackers.
Hackers can also gain access to your information if you respond to the message. Do not engage with the scammer via a written response or call a phone number they provide. Ignore, report, and delete the message.
If you receive a phishing email, you can forward it to the Anti-Phishing Working Group. If it was a phishing text, forward it to the number 7726 (SPAM). You can also report the attack attempt to the FTC. It’s important to report phishing when you receive it so the proper entities can work to prevent such attacks in the future. Together, we can reduce cyber hacks.
Hackers follow trends and are getting smarter by the day. It’s critical to stay wary and updated on current tactics to steal your information. Cybersecurity measures are in place to protect you from attacks, but some scammers slip through the cracks. It’s your responsibility to pay attention to potential threats. If you think you’ve fallen victim to a phishing attack, visit identitytheft.gov to take the steps recommended based on the information that may have been taken from you.
At Tindall Tech, we’re here to help keep you safe from cyber threats. If you need support removing malware, spyware, adware, or viruses from your computer, contact us. Tindall Tech can help support you and all your Tech needs.
At Tindall Tech, we provide IT consulting, maintenance, and repair to a wide range of clients nationwide. We provide onsite (in-person) support in Kansas City, Raymore, Lees Summit, Belton, Raytown, and surrounding areas. We’re not just here to fix your tech problems – we want to help you solve your tech problems! We have experienced IT professionals with a history of success in Healthcare IT and Corporate America. We now specialize in serving Small Businesses looking for dependable, affordable, effective, and knowledgeable IT services. You can expect to receive quality service from our dedicated and talented team of IT experts.