3 Signs of a Malicious Email

Filed under: IT Support

Victoria Rausch
Owner, Davik Consulting, Inc.

While doing business over the net has its perks, there are plenty of drawbacks as well. In the course of any business day, your network, data, and any online accounts you hold could be affected by one simple blunder. In many cases, that mistake arrives in your inbox.

Here are three common signs of dangerous emails, from phishing to Malware embedded in links. Teach your employees to recognize these three signs that something fishy (or phishy) is going on.

The email requests your username or password. They often look very “official” but exercise extreme caution with any email that links you to a login page. This is especially true for bank accounts, Paypal, your data storage, or any other online account that contains sensitive information. An email that asks you to proceed to a login page might be fake, and so is the link to which you are directed. From there, the phony web page captures your login credentials, which are then used to access the real account.

How do you know the difference? Look for https://” in the address bar. A fake website might begin with “http://” and no “s”. Or, the web address might be close to the correct website, but not quite (such as paypal.customer.com instead of simply paypal.com).   When in doubt, simply open up a new tab in your browser and proceed to the known (correct) web address from there.

Phony scammers. Any time you’re asked for money online, it is wise to exercise caution. This is particularly true when natural disasters or other newsworthy events occur. Everyone is emotional and willing to help. Scammers know this, and send out requests for donations via emails that link to very official-looking fake charity sites. Do NOT enter your bank account or credit card information on these sites! Send a check to a known charity instead.

The email is compelling, but you don’t know the sender. Scam emails often contain tempting content, or even just hilarious pictures or memes. But when you click to download any of this content, Malware can be hiding within those files.

Beware, sometimes you do know the sender but he/she has forwarded an email that they think is just funny or cute, not understanding they are also forwarding a virus.

Make sure your employees know these signs of a suspicious email, and that you’ve established a secure online perimeter. Call Victoria Rausch with Davik Consulting at 888-RING-MY-TECH and she’ll be happy to review your online protocol with you.