Common Indicators of Phishing Emails
It is vital for us to proactively identify a phishing email on daily basis. To do so, you must know what to look for, so what is a common indicator of a phishing attempt? Listed below are some of the most common signs for you to look out for.
Keep in mind, tactics, techniques, and procedures will constantly change as the Threat Actors are smart and frivolous, but if you identify any of these signs in an email in your inbox or spam folder, there is a reasonable chance that the message is not genuine and should be reported to your security team.
List of Common Indicators:
- Suspicious sender’s address. The sender’s address may imitate a legitimate business. Cybercriminals often use an email address that closely resembles one from a reputable company by altering or omitting a few characters.
- Generic greetings and signature. Both a generic greeting—such as “Dear Valued Customer” or “Sir/Ma’am”—and a lack of contact information in the signature block are strong indicators of a phishing email. A trusted organization will normally address you by name and provide their contact information.
- Spoofed hyperlinks and websites. If you hover your cursor over any links in the body of the email, and the links do not match the text that appears when hovering over them, the link may be spoofed. Malicious websites may look identical to a legitimate site, but the URL may use a variation in spelling or a different domain (e.g., .com vs. .net). Additionally, cybercriminals may use a URL shortening service to hide the true destination of the link.
- Spelling and layout. Poor grammar and sentence structure, misspellings, and inconsistent formatting are other indicators of a possible phishing attempt. Reputable institutions have dedicated personnel that produces, verify, and proofread customer correspondence.
- Suspicious attachments. An unsolicited email requesting a user download and open an attachment is a common delivery mechanism for malware. A cybercriminal may use a false sense of urgency or importance to help persuade a user to download or open an attachment without examining it first.
Please remember that Intermedia Group and or Microsoft will not ask you to click on a link in an email and ask you to provide your credentials.
**Any email that does this is likely a Bad Actor email. Do not enter your credentials.**
If for any reason you are unsure of an email and or made the mistake of entering your information please contact our office immediately.
Any time you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to our service department to help guide you in the right direction!