A phishing attack is a way to solicit secure or personal information using emails or such malicious websites. This attack is done by approaching like any renowned organization or individual organization. But there is some common indicator of a phishing attempt. The main motive of any phishing attack is to let the receiver do some sensitive action through which the attacker can access their private information. These phishing websites contain such malicious code and when the receiver a link from any phishing email, this code starts to execute on the user’s device.
These phishing attacks are done in such a situation when the victim company can’t understand whether the email is from an authentic source or it is an attack. But, there are some common indicators of a phishing attack to get an idea if the email is from a fake source or not. These indicators will help the receiver to avoid such phishing attacks.
To know more about the common Indicator of a phishing attempt, go through this article. By the end of this article, we hope, you will no longer be vulnerable to a phishing attack. To know more about other types of cyber-attacks, click here. You can also learn about the similarities and differences between two confusing terms Phishing and Pharming.
Table of Contents
- Common Indicators of a Phishing Attack
- 1. Errors in Spelling and Grammar
- 2. Email Address Inconsistencies, Domain Names, and Emails
- 3. Threats or Urgent Feeling
- 4. Suspicious Attached Files
- 6. Odd Request
- 7. Short and Sweet
- 8. The Conversation May Not Initiate By the Recipient
- 9. Payment Information or Other Personal Information Application Request
- 10. Identification
- 11. Message Asks for Personal Data
- 12. Legit Companies Usually Call You by Your Name
- Frequently Asked Questions
Common Indicators of a Phishing Attack
Here are the 12 most common indicators of a phishing attack, so that you can steer clear of them and keep your online presence safe.
1. Errors in Spelling and Grammar
The most common indicator of Phishing Attempts is an error in grammar and spelling. The bad spelling of words and wrong application of grammar are among the common signs of any phishing email. Most companies have the spell control feature activated for outgoing emails to check the emails of their client. Auto-correction systems or mark features can also be applied on many web browsers. You would therefore expect to have wrong grammatical and incorrect spelling-free emails from an authentic source.
2. Email Address Inconsistencies, Domain Names, and Emails
Another way to identify potential phishing is to pay attention to the email address, domain name, and link text within an email. Try checking that the email address matches previous communication from the company or brand in question. Check the link text by hovering the cursor of your mouse over the link to see the URL. Pay close attention to the domain name and look out for minor differences, such as an added letter, one letter instead of two letters, the use of an unusual script, and so on. Let’s say you received an email from Paypal. You would expect any text links to direct you to paypal.com — if it doesn’t, and instead links to a domain name like poypl.com — don’t click it.
3. Threats or Urgent Feeling
Which emails come with negative implications, they always should be viewed with suspicion. Another strategy is to show urgency for urgent intervention to fluctuate the recipient or even to claim it. The scammer assumes that the material cannot be thoroughly checked when one reads the email quickly so that the other inconsistencies in the phishing campaign will go undetected.
4. Suspicious Attached Files
It is a common indicator of phishing attempt. When an email is sent from an unknown source with some attached files or the email recipient has not requested or intends to receive such document from the email sender, the attachment has to be carefully opened. If the file which is attached has an unknown extension, it should be flagged until it is started by the recipients of the attached. Generally, .zip, .scri,.exe, etc are associated with malware downloads.
6. Odd Request
If the e-mail asks you to do something which is not in a standard form, then this often means that the message is malicious. If an email is from the IT team which asks for the software to be launched, or if you follow a link to fix the PC, but this form of operation is usually centrally managed. So, when you receive such emails, that is a major indication that you might have received a phished email.
7. Short and Sweet
Although some phishing emails are packed with specifics that provide false protection, there are also sparse phishing messages that are used to trade their uncertainty. If a scammer sends a Jane email to a company that is a preferable seller sending the company emails one or two times a week, comes with the message ‘Here’s what you requested’ and an attached document called ‘additional information.’
8. The Conversation May Not Initiate By the Recipient
Since phishing email is not requested, a frequently used hook is to let the winner of the price know, qualify for a prize if one answers the email, or get a discount when clicks on the link or by opening a link. If the receiver did not start the conversation by deciding to get marketing materials or updates, the suspicion of the email is strong.
9. Payment Information or Other Personal Information Application Request
A common and advanced form of phishing e-mails is when an intruder created a false landing page that is linked to an email that lookalike an official email. The false landing page contains a login box or requires payment to solve a remaining problem. If the e-mail seems unexpected, try to visit the website that the e-mail is alleged to be provided by entering the URL instead of by clicking on the given link, in order not to enter their false site login credentials, or to pay the attacker.
The first move in the fight against phishers is identification. However, one employee likely gets phishing emails, others also do. Organizations must foster phishing awareness and make it possible for workers to report phishing email signals. This is a former statement of “If you see anything, say something” to the security response team.
11. Message Asks for Personal Data
Sometimes these emails trigger fear and anxiety to obtain personal data. It would be from your authentic bank’s email verifying account with your social security number, login credentials otherwise, your account will be closed. But, e-mail is not used by these organizations to convey such knowledge. Sometimes, a relative who asks for money and wants your banking information can be an attempt of such phishing.
12. Legit Companies Usually Call You by Your Name
Typically the phishing emails use “Dear Respected Member,” “Dear Client” or “Dear Client,” as generic greetings. If a company handles your account, the email will call you by name, likely leading you to contact them over the telephone.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the key signs of a phishing email?
A very common telltale sign of phishing emails is that it’ll have unfamiliar greeting and most importantly, it’ll ask you to act immediately.
What can I do to protect against phishing email?
The most effective way to protect yourself against phishing email is to train yourself to spot phishing before it affects you.
Enterprises and many small companies may be particularly vulnerable to such attacks: phishing, ransomware attack, etc and many of them lack a full-functioning network, data protection processes, and protocols. Vigilance can help to avoid the collapse of a person or company into a phishing attack which can save the victim company from such data loss. To prevent this type of attack, the company should always back up the files and data into a reliable server.