How to detect phishing emails and spam
After some recent discussions with some clients and family, it occurred to me that many people still have questions about how to tell “fake” emails from real ones – so I thought it might be a good time to point out some sure-fire ways to know when to hit that delete button:
- Listen to your gut. If it comes from a company or person you don’t know or do business with, delete it.
- One of my favorites is URL link inspection. If you hold your mouse over a link without clicking it (press-and-hold on an iPad), you will see the URL that appears (sometimes at the bottom of your mail program) of where that clicking that link will go. You have to look at the beginning part of the domain name. Ninety-five percent of the time, this will not be someplace you want to go.
- If you are looking at the URLs via the inspection technique above, be aware that some “fake” URLs can be spelled similarly to “real” ones, so be on the lookout for misleading ones.
- Never trust the “from” address of the sender. This can be easily forged.
- Misspellings and grammatical errors.
- Multiple recipients in the “To” box, or you are not listed in the “To” box.
- Emails that ask you to open an attachment, often a .zip file or an .exe file – do not open these!
If you have any questions or concerns about this, please let us know!