Email Inbox Red Flags: How to Spot Phishing Attempts

Every email account in the world has been a target of email phishing at some point, making it the most popular form of data theft in the world. Whether you work for a large or small organization, attacks are increasing everywhere and spotting these emails is growing more difficult. Identity thieves are getting more creative with their attacks, allowing them to develop emails that look trustworthy and secure. Here, the data security experts at Atlantic Data Forensics will discuss what companies need to know about email phishing attacks. 

What is Email Phishing?

Phishing is a practice where a hacker, often called a phisher, will use social engineering techniques and complex attack vendors in an attempt to trick the recipient gaining their private information. Email phishing uses emails as a platform to connect with these individuals. Phishers will try to trick the user into entering personal information, or they will put a link in the email that downloads a virus onto their computer once opened. One of the most commonly used techniques among email phishers is sending an email to millions of individuals with the subject line “Urgent Email, must update private information now.” Victims will fall for the trap and trust these emails, filling in their private information and falling victim to identity theft.

How Can Phishing Affect Businesses?

Opening an email and clicking a link is all a victim of phishing would have to do to expose businesses to potential viruses, allowing hackers to obtain sensitive information. Depending on what type of data was breached can determine how it will affect the business. Negative impacts can include the company losing their reputation, getting fined by the Information Commissioner’s Office, having to pay back the money taken from the breach or leaving customers and staff open to the risk of identity theft.

What Techniques Help to Protect Companies?

Preventing these attacks could save a company time and money down the road. A few practices to lower the chances of becoming a victim of email phishing include:

  • Adding a SPAM filter that will help recognize and block viruses from the inbox,
  • Educating employees often on techniques phishers use and the differences between phishing emails and trusted emails,
  • Using Antivirus software that will scan every file that comes to the computer and help prevent damage to the system,
  • Verifying unfamiliar sites, looking for little things like the URL starting with “https”, and 
  • Checking for the site’s security certificate as well as anything that may look suspicious.  

Following these practices will help identify untrustworthy emails. Whenever you come across an email that is a potential virus, make sure to report it as junk. This can help lower the amount of spam received for everyone.  

Speak to a Data Forensics Specialist at Atlantic Data Forensics Today

Everyone has seen an email in the past that can easily be spotted as spam. People may think that they will never be foolish enough to fall for this scam, but that is not always the case. There have been examples of email phishing attempts that look almost identical to emails that come from a boss or a client. It is best to take steps now to prevent these attacks rather than waiting until after the fact. The data security experts at Atlantic Data Forensics have years of experience helping companies prevent data attacks. If your company has fallen victim to these attackers, don’t get overwhelmed. Contact Atlantic Data Forensics immediately to see how we can resolve this issue as quickly and effectively as possible.