How to Identify a Phishing Attack

Hacker hacking the server in the dark room, pushing keyboard buttons

Phishing attacks are one of the most frequently used methods of cybercrime. In this type of attack, scammers use text messages or emails to trick you into giving out your confidential information. They may try to acquire account numbers, passwords, and social security numbers. 

Upon accessing this information, they can then use it manipulatively to gain access to your bank account, your personal or professional email account, and other accounts that may contain valuables or sensitive information. 

Therefore, it is essential to be able to spot phishing emails and recognize them to avoid falling into the traps of scammers. Below are some tips on how to identify a phishing attack.

Email Sent from Public Domain

Most established organizations have their company domains and email accounts. It is unlikely for them to send an email to their customers through a public domain. 

IT experts advise that you should check the email address of the sender and confirm that it matches the domain of the alleged organization. If you are uncertain about the organization’s domain, you can confirm it by typing the company name in a search engine.

Misspellings and Bad Grammar

Another strong indication of a phishing scam is a misspelling and bad grammar, especially in the domain name. It is important to note that anyone can buy and register a domain name. However, every domain name must be unique. Scammers, therefore, use cunning tactics to create domain names and email addresses that are nearly indistinguishable from the ones they are spoofing. They may change a single letter from the original term or simply replace a single letter with an almost similar one. This emphasizes the importance of carefully analyzing the sender email to determine if it is the original or a spin-off sent to maliciously obtain your personal information.

Suspicious Attachments or Links

One of the common characteristics of nearly all phishing emails is that they contain links to either a bogus website or an infected attachment. The purpose of the fake website is to capture your personal information for malicious use. An infected attachment, on the other hand, contains malware that is intended to harm your computer. In case you find out that some of the software in your computer has been damaged after opening a malicious link, you can contact IT services in Tampa to help you get your computer up and running.

Emails that Portray Urgency

Scammers are well aware of the procrastinating nature of most individuals. That is why most of the phishing emails they formulate aim to coax you to act as soon as possible. They try to portray that failure to follow their instructions could lead to inconveniences in some of the accounts you regularly use, such as Netflix and Paypal. Therefore, it is essential to take a close look at the sender’s address before giving in to such prompts.

Scammers are continually trying to find new ways to defraud innocent individuals of their valuable information and assets through phishing attacks. You should look out for any of the above pointers if you suspect that you have received a phishing email.