An increase in the number of cyber attacks that lead to compromising the finance credentials of customers and that of individual users has a lot to do with phishing and spear phishing threats. It’s quite saddening that more than 60% of companies fall a victim to spear phishing attacks due to the ignorance of employees. It indicates the importance of educating employees about the tricks and tips that can help them identify phishing emails infected with malware and viruses.
The first thing that all users rely upon is the spam proofing filter by Google that doesn’t let shady emails reach the inbox. However, hackers have come up with techniques that make it quite possible for spam emails to actually hit the inbox. And this is where negligence can cost a company millions of dollars. Instead of carelessly opening the emails, people should do the following things in order to protect their devices and accounts.
- The most obvious thing is to not click on the emails that are flagged red. Sometimes the malware is so strong that you needn’t click on the link. The moment you open the email, the system gets hacked.
- When a fishy email hits the inbox, instead of opening it directly, focus on the ‘From’ section. A masked email address is a clear indication that someone is trying to steal your security information.
- The next red flag is an email without a subject line and with just one single link as an attachment. Delete such emails right away and if you believe these could be from a genuine source, then use websites like ‘checkshorturl.com’ that can help identify if or not the email is malicious.
Due to the advanced methods that hackers use to exploit cybersecurity vulnerabilities, it has become very difficult to identify spear phishing emails. Whilst it is still easier to identify a phishing email, a spear phishing attempt is a step more serious. It is because such emails appear to be from genuine sources by genuine people. Many companies and users have suffered plenty of financial losses due to spear phishing attacks. Usually, such emails prompt a failed payment from a genuine source and ask for your credit/debit card details.
This should be the first red flag. No matter how genuine the email address of the sender looks like, focus on the last bits instead of the first ones. The last few bits in a URL indicate where you’ll be redirected to. So, be aware and careful when making online transactions.
On a closing note, these tips are considered useful for individual users as well as for unaware employees.