How to Identify Phishing Email? Explore Here!

MailXaminer | January 14th, 2020 | Forensics

Are you sure that the email in your inbox is genuinely from the bank or is it from a fraudster? Are you a victim of phishing scam? Do not know how to identify phishing email? Now, with this blog, we will help you understand the necessary actions which are to be taken to prevent getting into such troubles.

In this busy world of the internet, companies, and individuals are frequently targeted by cybercriminals via Email Phishing. Cybercriminals send the email message which looks like coming from a legitimate source. This enables them to easily gain the trust of the receiver. Through these emails, the sender usually asks to click on a link or attachment. It takes the receiver to the page where they confirm the personal information like account data or other confidential information. It is a way in which hacker cons the user into providing personal or crucial data. After obtaining the information, a hacker creates new credentials and steal sensitive information, or install a virus or malware into the system.

What is Email Phishing?

Nowadays, email phishing is well known to the organizations and internet users, but its extent of damages is often not recognized. Phishing involves scammer to gain unauthorized access to private information of organizations that scammer uses for personal gain. Most commonly, information steal by the phishers is bank account details that carries various personal information. Once they obtain the details, they may use it for withdrawing money by making an online transaction using the victim’s account.

Follow the Instance Given Below:

Suppose, you notice the following image in your email message. What will you do? How will you identify phishing email?  

how to identify phishing email

Normally, there is no sign of perception that it is a scam. It actually looks genuine and it is designed to make you panic by indicating that your account is on hold and having some trouble with current billing information.

It’s often difficult to make the difference between a fake and verified email. But most of the emails have some hidden hints, which can help to recognize the nature of email.

How to Identify and Avoid Phishing Email Scams?

A malicious email from the scammer might look real which might make-believe that it is originating from a genuine sender. The phishers send emails and pretend that anything they are doing is in your favour. Hence, it is important identify phishing email. Failure to know this may have to face real consequences for the people who give their sensitive information to the scammers.

Things to Keep in Mind From Falling into Email Phishing

Here, we have enlisted some of the important tips which will prevent you from falling into the scam of email phishing and also helps to identify phishing email.

  • Legitimate companies never ask your sensitive information via email or through other mediums
  • Companies don’t use generic greetings to call you like “Hi Dear”. They usually use your registered name to call you.
  • Authorized organizations own a specific domain email address. Thus, it is always important to check the email address before giving the response. Sometimes fraudsters use company email addresses by adding alternate digits or letters along with it. Check out the difference between the two emails, given as an example of altered email address: charlie@payitt.com instead of email: charlie@payit.com
  • Email from a legitimate organization is always well written. To identify phishing email, the user can simply identify it by checking the syntax of the email. Scam emails generally have bad grammar and incorrect spellings.
  • Companies never forces users to go through a website. However, it can be seen that emails from the scammers generally includes hyperlinks. Upon clicking the links, a fake or scam web page gets opened which might include the virus that gets automatically downloaded into the system.
  • Authentic institutions never sent unsolicited attachments in the email. In case if the company wants to send an attachment, they will send the information through white papers that needs to be downloaded. Under such situation, make sure to check the high-risk attachments file types such as .exe, .zip, .scr, etc. Suppose if you have any doubts with regards to the information sent by the company, you can directly contact the company via the contact information from the actual enterprise’s website.
  • Links sent by the legitimate company always matches the company’s URL. If the hyperlink mentioned in the email is not identical to the link in the text, then it is wise to not trust the URL.

Risks and Impacts of Email Phishing on Organizations

It is not easy to estimate the global financial impact of phishing. Most of business organizations regularly fall victim to phishing attacks. As they fail to educate their resources to sophisticated security networks or awareness to prevent themselves from falling into the scam. Large business organizations are susceptible to fall into email scams which might risk the confidential information of the company.

It is often seen that small-scale industries are not specifically targeted as they receive generic ways of phishing attempts such as impersonating the service provider or submission of fake invoices or payments. However, in the case of large-scale organization, the situation is more worsened as the phisher tend to impersonate the client or even senior staff. As per the report of Ponemon Institute, in the 2016 year’s first quarter, $3.7 million per attack are collected by the phishers on large organizations.

As in big firms, phishers target them by impersonating company managers and orders low ranked staff to transfer money in their accounts. This type of phishing is also known as “whaling”. It can cause a company to lose a large amount of money, even millions of dollars. Moreover, with the financial loss suffered through phishing, companies may also lose their reputation. To build a brand reputation, it may take a lot of time and dedication. All of these may be wiped out if the company has fallen victim to a scam. They may be seen in the market as untrustworthy and incompetent.

The company’s reputation is not only affected by phishing, but it also affected by being spoofed. It is important that the private information of employees should be protected by the company. An organization may also hire a specialized cybersecurity organization to prevent them from falling into email and to identity phishing email.

Must Take Preventive Measures by the Organizations to Protect Phishing

Below-mentioned are some of the preventive steps to protect the organization against phishing, email security threats and to identify phishing email. As a well-informed employee can help an organization to prevent falling into phishing attacks.

  • Regular Security Awareness Training

The organization must educate or train their employees to take preventions from being caught into the scam. Companies can conduct training sessions and mock phishing scenarios to make them understand about scams.

  • Deploy Security Patches & SPAM Filter

A SPAM filter can deploy into the system of employees which can detect viruses, spamming, etc. All the systems using in the companies must be configured with the latest security patches and updates.

  • Antivirus Solution

Install antivirus into the computers using for work. These can prevent the system from being attacked by the virus or unwanted threats.

  • Deploy Web Filter

Users can deploy the web filter into the browser to block malicious websites to identify phishing email. It can be helpful to prevent the system from getting attacked by Ransomware.

  • Encrypt Sensitive Information

Sensitive or confidential information of the company must be encrypted. It should be maintained in a way that can only be accessed by authorized persons.

  • Telecommuting Employees Encryption

Employee telecommunication network must be encrypted. So that, it become difficult for the phishers to access it.

  • Protect Accounts using Multi-Factor Authentication

Some account’s security requires two or more credentials to log in, it is called multi-factor authentication. With this, scammers may have to face the troublesome time when they try to log into the account. This might help to identify phishing email.

  • Protect your Data by Backup

Backup the data to some external hard drive storage or cloud service. But make sure the data is not connected to your home network.

  • Protect System by Using Security Software
    The software to deal with new security threats must be installed on the computer. It will help you to protect your computer from unwanted threats or viruses.

Final Verdict

Every organization has to face different challenges that may also include email scams and phishing attacks. “How to identify phishing email?” is one of the common query seen among users these days. As a result, this blog states the necessary preventive steps which should be taken to inhibit them. Besides this, users can also use MailXaminer to investigate the scenario. By analysing the occurred cybercrime, a user can protect the organization from being attacked in the near future.