Cyber Security Tip: How to spot a phishing e-mail

Cyber Security Tip: How to spot a phishing e-mail

Aug 8, 2023

A phishing e-mail is a bogus e-mail that is carefully designed to look like a legitimate request (or attached file) from a site you trust in an effort to get you to willingly give up your login information to a particular website or to click and download a virus.

Often these e-mails look 100% legitimate and show up in the form of a PDF (scanned document) or a UPS or FedEx tracking number, bank letter, Facebook alert, bank notification, etc. That’s what makes these so dangerous – they LOOK exactly like a legitimate e-mail. So, how can you tell a phishing e-mail from a legitimate one? Here are a few telltale signs…

First, double-check the e-mail. You might discover that the e-mail from the boss is actually from a Gmail account and not the company e-mail.

Second, hover over the URL in the e-mail (but DON’T CLICK!) to see the ACTUAL website you’ll be directed to. If there’s a mismatched or suspicious URL, delete the e-mail immediately.

If you’re unsure, simply go directly to the site (typing it into your browser) rather than clicking on the link. Another telltale sign is poor grammar and spelling errors.

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Think fast: what’s the first thing you do after realizing you just replied to the e-mail from the Nigerian prince wanting to give you a sum of $34 million? Okay, you most likely didn’t reply to that…but let’s suppose you suddenly realize your machine or device has been compromised and you’re staring at a ransom note. Now what?

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