Protect your business: Tips for recognising suspicious email senders

Tech Blog
Cyber Security
December 14, 2023
watch out for phishing emails

In recent times, the prevalence of phishing scams has been at an all-time high, so it's crucial to understand that you, as a business owner, play a pivotal role in fending off these cyber attacks within your organisation.

A key aspect of this defence strategy involves critically examining every email you receive. This post will guide you through several questions to ask yourself about the sender of an email, potentially revealing a phishing attempt.

How to evaluate the email sender.

Have you been included in an email thread with other recipients you don't recognise?  

Does the email content appear odd to be coming from the person it claims to be coming from?
Look out for odd requests with staff members.

Is the email content written using language the person it claims to be coming from would use?
Look our for overly formal, overly casual or overly

Does the email seem to be sent to a strangely assorted group of people?
This could mean a random collection of people with no obvious connection or a group within your company sharing no more than the same initial letter in their last names.

What to do

Any aspect of the email that raises your suspicion calls for immediate caution. Refrain from clicking any links, opening attachments, or responding to the message. Remember, you are the final barrier that can prevent cyber criminals from breaching your organisation's defenses and leaving you or your company vulnerable to phishing attacks.

More red flags to watch out for

Here are some additional tips about discerning the legitimacy of email recipients:

Check for Misspellings or Odd Phrases:
Scammers often use slight misspellings or odd phrases in email addresses to trick recipients into thinking the email is from a trusted source.

Investigate the Domain:
Look at the part of the email address after the '@'. Does it match the company the sender claims to be from? A mismatch could indicate a phishing attempt.

Look for Generic Greetings:
Phishing emails often use generic greetings like "Dear Customer" instead of your real name, as scammers may not know this information.

Review the Signature:
Legitimate businesses usually have professional email signatures that include contact details. An absence of a signature might be a red flag.

Beware of Urgent or Threatening Language:
Scammers often try to create a sense of urgency or fear. Be skeptical of emails claiming you must act now or face consequences.

Don't Trust the Display Name:
Phishers can make the email appear to come from a reputable source by changing the display name, even if the actual email address is different.

Don’t Rely on the Presence of a Company Logo:
Scammers can easily copy a company's logo to make an email seem legitimate.

When in Doubt, Reach Out:
If you're unsure about an email, contact the company directly using a phone number or website you know is genuine.

Remember, it's better to be safe than sorry. If something about an email recipient or the content seems off, it's best to avoid interacting with it until you can confirm its legitimacy.

Get more help with your teams cyber security awareness.

our cyber security services include staff training. Contact us on 01482 420150 for more help or book an appointment with one of our IT Security specialists to learn more about how we can help you business and your team guard against these threats.

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