What Is Phishing and How to Identify Phishing Emails?

Phishing Emails

Do you understand the meaning of PHISHING? Well, phishing is a word which is popular in cybercrime. It is an act in which spammers try to obtain sensitive information such as username, password, credit card details or the company’s sensitive information by sending fraudulent messages through emails. Typically, the victim receives a message that appears to be sent by a known contact or organization. The ultimate goal of phishing emails is to get click on the malicious link which is sent via email. Emails with clear fake appearance and poorly written emails,  boldly justify that this is spam and this gives cybercriminals the reason to follow the company marketer tactics to get the email open. For example, using the brand name which has maximum likes on Facebook, using logos and information that can be directly taken from any website or usernames, email addresses of colleagues etc.

There are many techniques through which cybercriminals try to spam. Some of them are:

  •  Email Spoofing

Email spoofing is the faking of an email header to give a look and feel of as if the message has been sent from some actual and known source. This is the most used tactic because people are more likely to open an email when it looks that it has been sent by an authorized source.

  •  Clone Phishing

It is another type of phishing attack which clones the actual legitimate and delivered emails in such a way that it only replaces the URLs with the malicious URLs in the actual email. It then sends from an email address spoofed to appear to come from the original sender.

  •  Spear Phishing

It is an email that appears to be sent from an individual or business that you know. But actually, it is not. It is from cybercriminals that try to obtain sensitive information and are fraudulence.  

  •  Whaling

It is a phishing attack which is specifically aimed at phishing “big phishes/whales” as in wealthier individuals. They usually aim for high-ranking bankers, executives or others in powerful positions or job titles. Whaling attacks are often harder to detect than standard phishing attacks.

There are other techniques as well but the above mentioned are basically associated with emails.

So now you must have got to know either as an individual or as a marketer, why it is important to identify the phishing, even before opening the email.

Here I am sharing few tips to identify the phishing emails. Let us have a look….

1.   Check the header name twice

One of the most preferred ways is to fake the display name of an email. For example, you get an email from XYZ organization and the email gets delivered in the inbox. Now as a recipient you cannot guess this is spam or not just by looking at the header name. You must also look at the email address to analyze whether this is a scam or not.
2.   Spelling mistakes are unforgivable

There is no brand that will make bad impressions by making spelling mistakes. Spell and grammar are strong points to see and analyze for scam emails. The main thing is any brand will never make that mistake.

3.   Hold Back yourself from sharing personal details.

Never ever share your personal information like username, password or credit card details. Legitimate brands never ask for your personal information. Any email asking for sensitive information can be spam.

4.   Urgent emails can be a threat

Whenever you receive an email with extreme urgency, check twice before clicking. Because why would a brand will show so much urgency for their customers. Of course, the love their customers and would hate to annoy them.

5.   Always look out for the signature

After checking the header name and email address, also, look out for the email signature. Legitimate brands will always include their name or contact details. They would always want their users to communicate with them. If you see no signature or weird signature, then it is a phish.

6.   Check email domain

Fraudsters even manipulate email domains. So you must also check that for identifying email spoofs. Try to be extra careful.
For example, you have an account in Amazon and you receive an email from domain amazonn.com about reset your password or make payments. Then before taking any action, check the sender domain. It can be a scam.

7.   Browse the Internet from the anti-phishing enabled browser

Always try to open the links embedded in emails in a browser which is enabled with anti-phishing software. This will alert about the phishing links/emails. These browsers can be Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer etc.

8.   Everything you see is not real

Detecting phishing is not an easy task. You need to be very careful and keep the important things in mind. We easily believe in what we see whether it is real or not but we forget that the cybercriminals are ahead os us and we must be very careful.

Over To You: What else can be the tips for detecting phishing emails?
Please share in the comment section below.


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