Imagine a day when you didn’t send a single email while at work. For most modern workers, this is a far-off dream, because email is an integral part of today’s workplace. In fact, a 2014 study estimated that businesses send almost 100 billion emails every single day. You may see then why most viruses, malware, worms, and phishing scams are delivered over email—it’s the easiest way to reach a business.
How can you protect your business against dangerous emails? It all starts with knowing how to recognize when an email isn’t what it seems. Here’s the information you’ll want to keep on hand and give to employees.
How to Recognize an Email Scam
Most of the time, scammers get their way because we’re too busy and in too much of a hurry to verify every piece of information that comes into our inboxes. Often, an employee will see an email that appears to be from a co-worker, colleague, or trusted institution and assume that it’s legitimate. Here are some of the biggest red flags you should look out for when it comes to emails.
- Unknown sender: If the email is from an address you don’t recognize, you should be immediately wary—especially if you notice the email has an attachment or that it asks for information from you.
- A non-branded email domain: If someone is contacting you from Google, you better bet their email address will be firstname.lastname@example.org, not email@example.com. Keep an eye out for email addresses that don’t match the domain of the company the sender is claiming to represent.
- Something’s “off”: Sometimes, the first thing you notice is that the email just seems strange. Maybe it has a few typos and includes a weird request for a document. Maybe it’s from a friend but just doesn’t sound like something that friend would say. Listen to your intuition—you could be spotting a scam.