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Published On: April 11, 2019 by Blake Schwank

Phishing schemes are nothing new. However, hackers are using increasingly deceptive tactics to try to dupe unsuspecting computer users, often in order to gain access to passwords or gift cards.

Knowing some of the telltale signs of a phishing attempt is a great way to protect yourself and your employees from potentially problematic attacks.

What Are Some Things that Signal a Phishing Attempt?

There are some clues that a keen eye can pick up on to circumvent the nefarious work of a hacker. Often the phishing attack uses a familiar name on the email, making a victim more likely to respond. Here are a few things to look for:

  • Message timing. Is the email coming in at an unusual time when the sender does not typically send emails? That’s a red flag.
  • Email address. While the name may seem familiar, be sure to check out the email address affiliated with that name. Often it’s from an account that is clearly not that of the supposed sender.
  • Strange subject line. Is the subject vague, provocative or out of character? That’s usually a warning that something is amiss about the email.
  • Grammar in the message. Is the grammar poor or not in keeping with the standard language the sender uses? If so, that’s a signal that something’s not right.
  • Different signature line. Compare the signature line with that of other emails the sender has sent to you. If it’s different, or nonexistent, use caution.

What Should We Do If We Suspect a Phishing Lure?

There are some simple steps you can take to address a suspect message, including:

  • Call the person who’s listed as the sender and ask them about the email.
  • Avoid and ignore emails with email addresses.
  • Be suspicious if there’s an offer in the email that seems too good to be true.
  • Stay away from emails that ask you to buy gift cards, scratch off the backing and email the access codes. That’s a scam.
  • Contact your managed IT service provider.

Colorado Computer Support offers managed IT services that include monitoring of emails with advanced anti-phishing tools and monitoring. To learn more about how to support and protect yourself and your employees, contact us today.

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