How To Spot A Phishing Email

We spend significant time using emails to communicate with our colleagues, vendors, customers, industry partners, and more.

We spend significant time using emails to communicate with our colleagues, vendors, customers, industry partners, and more.

As a result, email is a lucrative channel for bad actors to breach a company’s systems and extract valuable data. It is also exploited to compromise internal systems by making email recipients download malware. Both actions may cause significant harm to the business and its employees. Safe habits are thus needed while using emails.

The most common method of cyberattack happens through phishing emails. Similar to its homophone – fishing – phishing relies on the idea of baiting and attacking. These emails are designed to look like legitimate emails – apparently originating from a credible person or organization, asking you to share personal information, transfer funds, or download an attachment. If you have used email solutions for even a year, you probably would have stumbled upon a few phishing links.

Over time, phishing emails have become more frequent, complex, and difficult to identify from just a glance. Look for the following email attributes to determine if the email is a phishing attempt:

3 ways to Identify a Phishing Email at a Glance:

1. Sender Email Add:
Typical phishing emails have the first name of the sender as someone who you may have known but have a different email address domain as used by the company.  For example, you work with a colleague named John Denver at ABC Corporation whose email id.

2. Misleading URLs:
Phishing emails usually have a Call-to-Action. This CTA could be asking the recipient to share their personal information, transfer money on a certain account, or through a URL. that are shared and check if they are legitimate or not. If suspicious, don’t click on the link. Copy the link address and paste it into the browser manually.

3. Unsolicited Attachments:
Phishing emails sometimes also have unsolicited attachments that the sender may ask the recipient to download and perform certain actions thereafter.                                                                                                    

We hope that the above list of attributes would help you understand and filter out phishing emails. These aren’t exhaustive but they cover the significant majority of the cases. As a best practice, in case of doubt, please reach out to the person or organization that the phishing email is claiming to be and confirm with them.


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