How To Identify a Phishing Scam in 30 Seconds
No matter how secure you make your data, there will never be a point where your information is completely safe. The biggest weakness in our attempt to make an impenetrable firewall is the human behind the screen.
Statistically, in every office, there is always “that guy.” Let’s call him Ted. Ted is the kind of person that leaves food in the company fridge for a week, tells you about a weird mole he found under his armpit and, of course, promptly opens every single email attachment without checking what it is first.
Teds are the reason multibillion dollar companies go bankrupt.
If you don’t know a Ted, then you’re probably him. No need to fret, though, we’re here to help. We can’t change a Ted’s overbearing personality, but we can certainly minimize the threat of him bringing down your business by clicking on malicious emails.
So Teds, pay attention. Open your email and grab a stopwatch, here’s how you can identify a phishing scam in 30 seconds. GO!
Check the URL
Even if a link in an email looks legitimate, there is a chance that it may not be what it seems. Hover your mouse over the URL without clicking on the link. This will reveal the actual name of the URL. If the names don’t match, don’t click the link.
Check for Spelling Errors
If you get an email from a large company that you think might be too good to be true, check for spelling and grammar errors. Large organizations are very meticulous about the content of their widespread emails. So if you find blatant mistakes, delete the email.
Email Asks for Personal Information
Anything that would require you to give out personal information will never be done over email. Even if it looks like it came from your credit card company or bank, if the email asks for information about your accounts and passwords, do not respond.
Don’t Open Unknown Attachments
As tempting as it might be to click on an attached file because you’re curious as to what it is, please don’t. Unknown attachments can contain viruses or various malware that can hurt the files on your computer. Unless you were expecting an attachment, or know exactly where it came from, don’t click on it.
Use Common Sense
Even though security measures have increased over the years, phishers and scammers have gotten smarter. They will do whatever within their means to get you to click on their emails. Exercise basic common sense and think before clicking on something that might look suspicious.