How to Spot a Phishing email in 2020 - Internal Computer Services

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How to Spot a Phishing email in 2020

It’s vital to stay in-the-know when it comes to digital safety and phishing attacks – especially if you have a business to worry about. Companies large and small live in fear of digital attacks because they happen all the time and are potentially devastating. Even companies like Google and Facebook haven’t been immune. In fact, experts say that scammers made away with just over half a billion dollars in the last year.

Phishing attacks continuously get more sophisticated, and you should make sure that everyone using the technology in your workplace is well aware of recent scams. Primitive past phishing email attacks had obvious misspellings, format errors, and issues. Now, it’s hard to tell which emails are real and which aren’t! It’s especially dangerous if you have client information to protect.

There are a variety of scams out there. From malware that downloads the instant you open an email from an unfamiliar address, to hackers that steal your financial information when you put it in to buy something. Here is how to spot a phishing email in 2020.

Government Emails

This type of phishing email has been popular in recent years and continues to circulate through the internet, getting more refined each time. Emails (and phone calls) from “the Social Security administration” have proven to be scams. Any government agency would contact you by mail if there was anything to contact you about. These emails can be unnerving, of course. For 2020, experts suggest to look out for emails from the “FBI” or “IRS” that request personal information. For example, a popular scam is an email that states that there’s a warrant for your arrest and you have to put in your social security number to resolve the issue. Beware and make sure your employees know the difference. If you’re not sure, you can call the government agency directly – but whatever you do, don’t enter your personal information online!

The Friend Email

These are often personalized, including the name of a friend you know, and likely have on your social media profiles. You may receive an email from this friend suggesting they got a new email address, asking to borrow money, or even requesting something simple, like “hey, you forgot to Venmo for dinner the other night, here’s my info.” Over the years, a phishing scam has been in circulation that uses friends’ names, emailing the victim of the scam and saying that their friend is stuck in a foreign country and needs money to get back. These scams still exist but have become more sophisticated, so be aware and check with your friends first before sending any money through an email link.

The Billing Problem Email Scam

Be very aware of what address and/or URL your emails come from, because another common scam tactic is to send emails from common companies stating that there is a problem with billing information. Since cookies are available, scammers have gotten good at tracking places where people shop. They often send emails from various retailers or monthly services. These emails seem very legitimate, using logos, excellent grammar, and even a spoofed login page.

The Fake Bank Scam

Be very wary of email communications from your bank. This type of fraud has gotten better over the years, with designers creating emails that use bank logos and fonts to trick the victim into entering their information. There’s often a subject line that warns the victim that they’ve overdrawn too much from their bank account, and to click the link if they have any questions. Some even create a fake login page that looks realistic. Always double-check URLs and addresses, and if there’s a problem with the bank, call them directly.

Can an IT Company Help Prevent Cyber Attacks?

Your best bet for internet safety is to hire a team of experts that can make sure that your network is secure, that phishing emails are stopped and blocked, and handle any fallout should the worst happen. Invest in your business’ online safety by calling Internal Computer Services at 804-672-1057. Speak to a friendly professional today about upkeeping your business’ digital safety.