May 26, 2022

How To Spot a Phishing Email & Avoid Becoming a Victim

 

Jan. 13, 2021

How To Spot a Phishing Email

In June, Blade saw pandemic-related phishing attempts increase about 33%. During major world events or big news cycles, phishing scams tend to increase as users can become more vulnerable to social engineering.

Blade's own Scott Schaffer sat down with Fox2Now to inform people of what to look out for in identifying phishing emails. Watch the video and read below about some common questions regarding phishing attacks.

 

How do phishing emails work?

Phishing emails are fake emails that appear to be sent by somebody you know, such as an employer, your bank, or another organization. They might have a similar format to emails you're used to seeing and have a similar email address. Phishing emails often contain a website link asking you to enter private information or ask you to purchase something or provide payment.

When you take a closer look, you might notice that the email address is different than your contact, words are misspelled, and a web address is altered from the company's official site.

 

How common is phishing?

Phishing is very common for companies of all sizes and can also happen at a personal level outside of work. Blade has found that scammers tend to prey on people's vulnerabilities during major events. Phishing attempts have increased surrounding Covid vaccines and other medical information.

Phishing emails can sometimes be identified right away, but other times they can look very official and provide a sense of urgency that you need to reply. It's always important to be very cautious when receiving any type of communication asking you to provide sensitive information.

 

What If I clicked on a phishing link?

Phishing links can vary from email to email. Some links take you to a website that will ask for private information or to make a payment. Some links could cause malware to be downloaded on your computer or other hacking issues.

If you click on a link, let your IT team know right away so they can back up your data and implement proper security measures.

 

How do I report a phishing attempt?

If you've received a phishing email, let your IT department know. Even if you didn't click on a link or engage with the email, it's still important for others to be aware.

If the phishing email you receive was not work-related, you can report attempts to the Federal Trade Commission. They also provide great information and more details about fraud and phishing attempts.

 

How do I protect myself from phishing?

Knowing the signs of a phishing attempt and being diligent are important steps to take in preventing an attack. Knowing how to spot a phishing attempt can protect both yourself and your company. Look out for misspelled words, altered email addresses, and word choice that is different than normal.

If you receive an email from your employees that looks suspicious and asks you to purchase something on a company card or provide sensitive information, always verify with that person. Message the person through another channel or call them to double-check if they sent the email.

Other ways to protect yourself from phishing include:

  • Don't click on links that look suspicious
  • Don't provide personal information like social security or credit card numbers over the phone or email
  • Don't open an attachment from a user that doesn't seem real
  • Use multi-factor authentication to protect your login credentials

Companies like KnowBe4 offer in-depth security awareness training for companies of all sizes. A yearly, comprehensive IT security training for employees is a great way to make sure everybody is aware of the latest scams and how to prevent them.

Ongoing training is also essential in preventing phishing attempts. For more information about security training and what to do if you think you may have experienced a cyberattack, contact Blade.

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More Tech Talk from Fox2Now

Blade Technologies in St. Louis is proud and honored to be a regular contributor to Fox2Now's Tech Talk series. For the latest information on what's new in tech and how to keep you and your devices safe, check out more of the Tech Talk series.

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