Phishing emails are one of the most common security scams targeting both businesses and individuals. At a high level, phishing emails are used to gain access to secure networks or confidential information by inducing the reader to click on a malicious link.
Once clicked, this link often takes the user to a fake landing page, which prompts them to enter login credentials that are then stolen, or downloads a virus onto the user’s computer, compromising it. This is a serious issues for businesses when the attack occurs on a work computer — according to the most recent Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, 49 percent of malware is installed via email.
As such, it’s important that your employees can recognize the signs of a phishing email. Understanding how to spot — and avoid — these scams is vital to keeping your sensitive information and data safe.
While phishing scams can vary, there are several variables you’ll find in the majority of phishing emails. Because these scams are meant to trick users into believing they’re real, they usually appear to come from a legitimate company — however, upon closer inspection, you’ll often find that the email address the email originated from uses a fake domain impersonating a real corporation.
Additionally, because these emails are meant to induce the user into clicking a link or downloading an attachment without much thought, they often employee scare tactics like using language that employs a sense of urgency and threatening to cut off services or disable accounts immediately if terms aren’t met.
You’ll also find several tell-tale signs in the body of a phishing email, including a link that, when rolled over, reveals a different URL address. Spelling and grammar mistakes are often prevalent in these types of emails as well.
To help you visualize the components of a phishing email, Varonis put together an infographic outlining all the things to look out for to spot a phishing scam. Are you able to spot all the mistakes? Check out the full visual below to test your skills.