Indicators of a Phishing Email

The world of cyber crime is very well organized. Criminals work with experienced programmers and underground internet networks to develop ways of hacking you or stealing your personal information. However, these criminals still require you in their plans in order to succeed. The easiest way for them to engage you is through phishing, but if you are careful, you can detect the indicators of a phishing email before you get caught in their trap.

In the example below we will highlight the different indicators of a phishing email, so as to give you the knowledge for detecting an attack. You can also download a PDF version here.

Indicators of a Phishing Email Example

Phishing Email

 warningbullet_1 Check the E-mail Address

In this example, it appears that the e-mail comes from a legitimate business, but the "FROM" address is someone's email account. Additionally, the "CC" field contains another address from someone you may or may not know or work with on a daily basis. It is good practice to be aware of  the sender's e-mail address and who may be copied on the e-mail, as well.

warningbullet_2  Be Suspicious of Attachments

Only click on those you are expecting. Cyber criminals hide malicious programs in phishing e-mails to hack your computer.

warningbullet_3  Be Suspicious of How E-mails are Addressed

"Dear Customer" or e-mails that use other generic greetings can be a indicator of an attack. If a trusted organization has a need to contact you, they will know your name and information.

warningbullet_4  Be Suspicious of Spelling or Grammar Mistakes

Most businesses proof read their messages carefully before sending them. Always read e-mails carefully.

warningbullet_5  Be Suspicious of Any E-mail that Requires an Immediate Response

This is a technique used by criminals to rush people into making a mistake. Stop and think before you act on the request in the e-mail.

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