How to Spot Phishing Emails

Every year, phishing emails become a greater problem. In 2017, phishing emails have cost Australians over $112,000. In just the first four months of 2018, phishing emails have lost Australians over $77,000 – only $2,000 less than the whole of 2016 combined.

Learning how to spot phishing emails is essential. One click can truly be the difference between keeping your personal data safe, and serious financial loss.

In this article, we’ll share 5 tell-tale signs that you’ve been sent a phishing email. But first, let’s look at a quick overview of what a phishing email is, and what it aims to achieve.

What is a Phishing Email?

Phishing is a type of scam that attempts to obtain personal or sensitive information, such as bank account details, passwords, or credit card numbers. It is different to virus, spyware and malware. Whist viruses or malware may involve the stress of computer repairs, phishing emails can have longer lasting effects.

Phishing emails appear to be genuine, sent from a trustworthy company. That might be your bank, internet provider, or electricity company. These emails will ask you to login to your account, or pay a supposedly overdue bill via a link. The link will send you to a page that looks pretty legitimate. Unfortunately, it isn’t.

If you enter your details, they are recorded – in other words, stolen. Learning about email security is a great way to start keeping your details safe from these sorts of scams.

How to Spot Phishing Emails

Here are 5 tell-tale signs that you’ve received a phishing email.

1. A Prize Too Good to be True

If you’ve received an email telling you that you’ve won the lottery, a family holiday, or a new car, sorry to say but it probably isn’t true. Avoid clicking anything, and do not enter your personal details.

2. Bad Spelling and Awful Grammar

Typos are nothing unusual, but if you receive an email filled with bad spelling and awful grammar, be cautious. Legitimate emails send by big companies – such as banks and electricity providers – are usually proofread by a number of people before they are sent out. It’s highly unlikely that one, let alone 10 or more, errors get through unnoticed.

3. The Email Asks for Private Information

How to Spot Phishing Emails

Alarm bells should go off every time you read an email that requests login details, bank account details, or any other private information. Double check that the email is genuine by contacting the company’s customer service team.

4. The Email Address Doesn’t Look Right

One of the easiest ways to determine whether or not an email is legitimate is to check the email address, especially the URL. Phishing emails are often sent from email addresses that look almost correct, but not quite. For example, pay-pal.com instead of paypal.com or apple.info.com instead of apple.com. 

5. Unknown Sender that Knows Your Personal Info

An email that contains personal information is not necessarily legitimate. Scammers are able to find your name, birthday, friends, and more from public channels, such as social media accounts. Always send an email sent by an unknown address that includes correct personal info into your spam box. You can also set up a spam filter to keep recurring emails from clogging up your inbox.

Protect Yourself Against Phishing Emails

There are two ways you can protect yourself and/or your business against the malicious intentions of scammers.

  1. Educate yourself and your staff. Reading this article is a great place to start. You can also find heaps of useful information about online scams at scamwatch.gov.au.
  2. Install top-quality anti-virus software, which can block the majority of phishing emails entering your inbox. If you need help with this, the team at Computer Cures is happy to help you with your anti-virus and email setup.

Get Help with Anti-Virus Software

Protect your computer and network from phishing emails and other nasty malware with a top-quality anti-virus software. We can setup and install the very best anti-virus software, so you can have peace of mind that your private information is secure. Call today on 1300 553 166 or fill out the form on this page, and we’ll get back to you soon.