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3 Ways to Spot a Phishing Scam

Email phishing scams remain the primary method hackers use to obtain victims’ personal data. Email is the most vulnerable form of communication because it is hugely pervasive, yet relatively easy to forge a counterfeit identity with. For a cybercriminal, email represents an easy way into nearly any organization. This is especially true of large businesses and enterprises, where individual employees probably do not know one another personally. An email that appears to come from an executive or upper management will often be taken at face value. This is a major problem for cybersecurity professionals because the human element is the most dynamic part of any cybersecurity policy. You can build the biggest, strongest, most secure walls around your data infrastructure, but it only takes one careless employee to accidentally invite the enemy through the front door. As a result, every good cybersecurity policy must offer guidance to educate workers on spotting suspicious emails. It must also provide for a process describing what to do with phishing scam emails – whether that means deleting them on the spot or sending them to a security team for verification. Importantly, this defensive approach relies on each employee’s ability to identify phishing scams and report them. Include the following red flags in your cybersecurity policy to ensure the best results. Mismatched Names Mismatched names are the biggest telltale signs of known phishing scams. Often, this is the case when an attacker is trying to impersonate a large, reputable company. Although the From field in your email client may seem correct, the actual email address may not correspond exactly to the company in question. For instance, there is a real difference between, “FedEx.com” and “Fed-Ex.com”, the hyphenated URL is part of a known phishing scam email address. Also, if an email message from a trusted third-party does not use your name in its opening, that could be a red flag. Unfortunately, it is extremely easy to forge an email address. Mismatched names represent the bottom line when it comes to creating a convincing phishing scam, so employees have to be on the lookout for other factors. Urgent Action Required Since cybercriminals can…

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