Do you know how to identify a suspicious email?
Tip 1: Don’t trust the display name
A favorite phishing tactic among cybercriminals is to spoof the display name of an email.
Tip 2: Look but don’t click
Hover your mouse over any links embedded in the body of the email. If the link address looks weird, don’t click on it. If you want to test the link, open a new window and type in website address directly rather than clicking on the link from unsolicited emails.
Tip 3: Check for spelling mistakes
Brands are serious about email. Legitimate messages usually do not have major spelling mistakes or poor grammar. Read your emails carefully and report anything that seems suspicious.
Tip 4: Analyze the salutation
Is the email addressed to a vague “Valued Customer?” If so, watch out—legitimate businesses will often use a personal salutation with your first and last name.
Tip 5: Don’t give up personal information
Legitimate banks and most other companies will never ask for personal credentials via email. Don’t give them up.
Tip 6: Beware of urgent or threatening language in the subject line
Invoking a sense of urgency or fear is a common phishing tactic. Beware of subject lines that claim your “account has been suspended” or your account had an “unauthorized login attempt.”
Tip 7: Review the signature
Lack of details about the signer or how you can contact a company strongly suggests a phish. Legitimate businesses always provide contact details.
Tip 8: Don’t click on attachments
Including malicious attachments that contain viruses and malware is a common phishing tactic. Malware can damage files on your computer, steal your passwords or spy on you without your knowledge. Don’t open any email attachments you weren’t expecting.