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The 7 red flags of phishing

 

  • Transcript

    Phishing is one of the most common threats you can encounter online. Luckily, phishing messages can be easy to spot – if you know what you’re looking for.

    Here are the 7 biggest red flags you should check for when you receive an email or text.

    1 URGENT OR THREATENING LANGUAGE

    Real emergencies don’t happen over email.

    LOOK OUT FOR:

    • Pressure to respond quickly
    • Threats of closing your account or taking legal action

    2 REQUESTS FOR SENSITIVE INFORMATION

    Anyone asking for personal information over email or text probably shouldn’t be trusted with it, anyway.

    LOOK OUT FOR:

    • Links directing you to login pages
    • Requests to update your account information
    • Demands for your financial information, even from your bank.

    3 ANYTHING TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE

    Winning a lottery is unlikely. Winning a lottery you didn’t enter is impossible!

    LOOK OUT FOR:

    • Winnings from contests you’ve never entered
    • Prizes you have to pay to receive
    • Inheritance from long-lost relatives

    4 UNEXPECTED EMAILS

    Except the unexpected, and then send it right to the trash.

    LOOK OUT FOR:

    • Receipts for items you didn’t purchase
    • Updates on deliveries for things you didn’t order

    5 INFORMATION MISMATCHES

    Searching for clues in phishing email puts your love of true crime podcasts to good use.

    LOOK OUT FOR:

    • Incorrect (but maybe similar) sender email addresses
    • Links that don’t go to official websites
    • Spelling or grammar errors, beyond the odd typo, that a legitimate organization wouldn’t miss

    6 SUSPICIOUS ATTACHMENTS

    Attachments might seem like gifts for your inbox. But just like real gifts, they’re not always good…

    LOOK OUT FOR

    • Attachments you didn’t ask for
    • Weird file names
    • Uncommon file types

    7 UNPROFESSIONAL DESIGN

    For some reason, hiring a graphic designer isn’t on a cyber criminals priority list.

    LOOK OUT FOR

    • Incorrect or blurry logos
    • Company emails with little, poor or no formatting
    • Image-only emails (no highlightable text)

    IF YOU SPOT ANY OF THESE RED FLAGS IN A MESSAGE:

    • don’t click any links
    • don’t reply or forward
    • don’t open attachments

    DELETE THE EMAIL OR TEXT, OR REACH OUT TO THE SENDER THROUGH A DIFFERENT CHANNEL IF YOU’RE NOT SURE.

    Get more tips to protect yourself and your devices at: GETCYBERSAFE.CA

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