fbpx
253.777.0763    Get SUPPORT

Graemouse Technologies Blog

Think Before You Click: Spotting a Phishing Attempt

Think Before You Click: Spotting a Phishing Attempt

We’ve all caught the obvious spam email, like the message that is clearly bogus, or the offer that is definitely too good to be true.

We’re going to confidently assume none of our readers are getting tricked by Nigerian Princes or getting roped into order virility drugs from an unsolicited email. The real threat comes from the more clever phishing attacks. Let’s take a look.

Give Me the Short Answer - What’s Phishing?

Phishing is where you get an email that looks like an actual legit email. The goal that a cybercriminal has is to trick you into giving them a password or access to an account (like to PayPal, Facebook, or your bank) or to get you to download malware.

The problem with phishing emails is how real they can seem. A phishing attempt for your PayPal information can look just like an everyday email from PayPal.

Even worse, often phishing emails try to sound urgent. They make you feel like you have to take action quickly, or that a bill is overdue, or that your password has been stolen. This can lower the user’s guard, and force them into a sticky situation.

How to Spot a Phishing Attack

Like I said, it’s not always going to be obvious when you get phished. Even careful, security-minded, technical people can fall victim because phishing is just as much of a psychological attack as it is a technical one.

Still, there are some practices you and your staff should use:

Always Use Strong, Unique Passwords

This can solve a lot of problems from the get-go. If your PayPal account gets hacked, and it uses the same password as your email or your bank account, then you may as well assume that your email and bank account are infiltrated too. Never use the same password across multiple sites.

Check the From Email Address in the Header

You’d expect emails from Facebook to come from , right? Well, if you get an email about your password or telling you to log into your account and it’s from , you’ll know something is up.

Cybercriminals will try to make it subtle. Amazon emails might come from or emails from PayPal might come from . It’s going to pay off to be skeptical, especially if the email is trying to get you to go somewhere and sign in, or submit sensitive information.

Don’t Just Open Attachments

This is nothing new, but most malware found on business networks still comes from email attachments, so it’s still a huge problem. If you didn’t request or expect an email attachment, don’t click on it. Scrutinize the email, or even reach out to the recipient to confirm that it is safe. I know it sounds silly, but being security-minded might build security-mindfulness habits in others too, so you could inadvertently save them from an issue if they follow your lead!

Look Before You Click

If the email has a link in it, hover your mouse over it to see where it is leading. Don’t click on it right away.

For example, if the email is about your PayPal account, check the domain for any obvious signs of danger. Here are some examples:

  • Paypal.com - This is safe. That’s PayPal’s domain name.
  • Paypal.com/activatecard - This is safe. It’s just a subpage on PayPal’s site.
  • Business.paypal.com - This is safe. A website can put letters and numbers before a dot in their domain name to lead to a specific area of their site. This is called a subdomain.
  • Business.paypal.com/retail - This is safe. This is a subpage on PayPal’s subdomain.
  • Paypal.com.activecard.net - Uh oh, this is sketchy. Notice the dot after the .com in PayPal’s domain? That means this domain is actually activecard.net, and it has the subdomain paypal.com. They are trying to trick you.
  • Paypal.com.activecardsecure.net/secure - This is still sketchy. The domain name is activecardsecure.net, and like the above example, they are trying to trick you because they made a subdomain called paypal.com. They are just driving you to a subpage that they called secure. This is pretty suspicious.
  • Paypal.com/activatecard.tinyurl.com/retail - This is really tricky! The hacker is using a URL shortening service called TinyURL. Notice how there is a .com later in the URL after PayPal’s domain? That means it’s not PayPal. Tread carefully!

Keep in mind, everyone handles their domains a little differently, but you can use this as a general rule of thumb. Don’t trust dots after the domain that you expect the link to be.

Training and Testing Go a Long Way!

Want help teaching your staff how to spot phishing emails? Be sure to reach out to the IT security experts at Graemouse Technologies. We can help equip your company with solutions to mitigate and decrease phishing attempts, and help educate and test your employees to prepare them for when they are threatened by cybercriminals.

Know Your Tech: Virtual Machine
Microsoft is Constantly Improving Office 365
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Sunday, August 25 2019

Captcha Image

Mobile? Grab this Article!

QR-Code dieser Seite

Tag Cloud

BYOD Gadgets Automation Flexibility Authentication Password Management Microsoft Office Blockchain Communications Telephone System Virtualization Microsoft Upgrade Mobile Device Managed IT Services Tip of the week Employer-Employee Relationship Security Supercomputer Phishing Managed IT Services YouTube Gmail MSP Google Docs Android Camera Emails Save Money Security Cameras Health Net Neutrality Computer Care Social Media Augmented Reality Content Management Help Desk Office 365 Digital Signage Smartphone Spam Workplace Tips Google Artificial Intelligence Internet Ransomware Voice over Internet Protocol Enterprise Content Management Windows Hardware Vulnerability Sports Social Engineering Encryption Computers Disaster Recovery IT Services Virtual Reality Workforce Website Telephony Access Control Passwords OLED Remote Monitoring Data loss Router Data Backup Bring Your Own Device Business Computing Identity Theft Unsupported Software Small Business Users User Error Backup Comparison Data Breach Settings Business Management Innovation Quick Tips Information Data Tech Term Hard Drive IT Plan Holiday Smartphones Managed IT Collaboration Alert Network Security Telephone Systems Thought Leadership Cloud App Software Windows 10 Display Networking Wireless Privacy Amazon Outsourced IT Cortana Twitter Spam Blocking Email Servers Training Communication Human Resources Technology Operating System OneNote Data Protection Best Practices Software as a Service Data Security Redundancy Business Intelligence Productivity Apps Computer Windows 10 Mobile Devices Data Recovery Google Drive Botnet Machine Learning Password Tip of the Week Network Internet of Things Private Cloud How To Mobile Device Management Business Continuity Facebook Public Cloud Cybersecurity Efficiency Cybercrime Cryptocurrency Telecommuting Google Apps Staff Word Solid State Drive Fraud Chrome Update VoIP IT Infrastructure Recovery Money Bandwidth Two-factor Authentication Hosted Solutions Administrator Keyboard IT Support Avoiding Downtime Education IT Consultant Cloud Computing BDR Hackers Browser Trending Server Scam Virtual Assistant Paperless Office Managed Service Processor Government CES Infrastructure Advertising Saving Time Saving Money IT Management VPN Sync Malware Law Enforcement Wi-Fi Proactive IT Mobile Computing User Tips Windows 7 Multi-Factor Security Meetings Miscellaneous Connectivity Data Storage Business Applications

Newsletter Sign Up