News 10 October 2018

Top Tips on How to Spot Phishing Emails

Adam shares his top 5 tips on spotting suspicious emails.

Adam Gorton, Service Delivery Manager, Fabric IT

With 7 years’ experience working on IT service desks, I’ve come across thousands of different support requests. Having been at Fabric for over 2 years now, we’ve noticed a significant increase in email related tickets, particularly phishing emails.

 

What is phishing?

“Phishing is the fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, password and credit card details (and money), often for malicious reasons, by disguising as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phishing

 

We believe it’s always better to prevent than resolve issues where possible. Especially now where data protection is extremely important for complying to GDPR regulations. That’s why I’m sharing…

 

My 5 Tips on How to Spot Phishing Emails:

 

1. Spelling and Grammar

Often these emails originate from other countries, so they may contain spelling mistakes or poor Grammar. Look out for language from others which seems unusual or out of the norm.

 

2. Attachments/Links

Are you expecting an attachment or link from the sender? If in doubt, treat the email with caution, don’t click any links and give them a call to make sure it’s legitimate.

3. Check the sending email address

The email may appear to be from a sender you recognise but this may just be a display name. Check the email address is the same as you would normally expect to see before clicking any unexpected attachments or responding.

4. Bank Details/Invoices

If an email contains banking information or invoices but the details have changed from previous correspondence, pick up the phone to ensure these are correct before sending any payments. Hackers are getting more sophisticated in their attempts to get financial rewards and we have seen invoices being amended with incorrect bank details.

5. Urgent/Action Required

Often spam emails will contain wording that makes the email look of high importance to get a quicker response without looking at the real sender. Emails could show text such as “Urgent, mailbox full”. If you receive emails like this, check in with your IT provider to ensure that this is not the case instead of clicking any links which promise to increase space or allow you to purchase more.

 

How to Prevent Phishing and Spam Emails from Reaching Your Inbox

I’d highly recommend adding Advanced Threat Protection to your Office 365 services. This provides further protection to the email service that Microsoft currently offer by performing additional tasks in the background before the email reaches your inbox. It will scan any links and attachments to see if there is anything malicious or unusual.

Alongside these features, it will also work with Microsoft’s spoofing team to recognise networks and senders that have carried out spoofing attacks previously.

 

Thanks for reading my first blog.

Share these tips with your organisation and ensure everyone knows that if an email looks dodgy, don’t click any links!

Adam Gorton, Service Delivery Manager, Fabric IT

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