We all know what phishing emails are, correct? If not, we’re here to break it down for you. Simply put, phishing emails are hacking tactics that are produced by cybercriminals to trick you into opening, downloading or clicking on an infected link via email in order to access private or sensitive information. However, phishing attacks can also be in person or over the phone – there are a few different methods of phishing.
Especially at a high-risk time as we navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, we find it extremely important to continue to raise awareness around phishing emails and how to spot the signs of a phishing attack – not just now, but always. Cybercriminals are leveraging on the current pandemic and using their resources to instill fear and panic in their phishing attempts. There have been many attempts sent to individuals claiming they’ve been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and to click the link to access testing themselves.
In a world full of unknowns and uncertainties, cybercriminals know exactly what to do and say and continue finding mischievous ways of hooking and inevitably reeling you in. Did you know that 97% of individuals around the world cannot identify a sophisticated phishing email?
Don’t take the bait – know the signs:
- The email is sent from a public email domain
- @google.com or @yahoo.com
- The domain name is misspelled (Typosquatting)
- yahooo.com, gooogle.com, etc.
- The email is poorly written
- Many grammatical errors, very generic and potential misinformation
- The email contains suspicious attachments or malicious links
- Anything that has misspelled file names or suspicious links, do NOT click
- The email attempts to create a sense of urgency or panic
- Hackers will try to get you to do something as soon as possible so you don't realize it's a scam
- The email often appears to come from a legitimate source
- This could be a boss, employee, family, friend or even a brand
- The email is requesting personal or confidential information
- Most companies will NEVER ask for credentials via email
With these ongoing threats and new ones emerging daily with cybercriminals leveraging on COVID-19, you cannot afford to let your guard down right now. Cybercriminals continue to use these advanced techniques and create extremely convincing emails, so convincing that 91% of cyber-attacks begin with a phishing email. Don’t get hooked, the threat is REEL. Given the prior information, would you be able to spot the phishing email? See if you can by visiting our phishing page!
Written by Allie Prange
Allie stepped into her role as PR & Marketing Specialist at TechGuard Security in November 2019 to help oversee, develop and implement marketing initiatives while serving as the day-to-day contact managing timelines, strategy and overall client/partner direction. As a mass communications graduate from SIUE with over 10 years of marketing experience, Allie is conversant in marketing/campaign strategy, brand development, social media marketing, graphic design, cross-promotional tactics, copywriting, public relations, event coordination and more. She has the innate ability to creatively plan, communicate, strategize and execute any project that is handed to her. Allie is a team-player, goal-oriented and strives for success amongst her teammates and colleagues. In her free time, she enjoys managing her graphic design side business, AKP Designs, spending time with her family and traveling as much as she can.