Smell Something Phishy? How to tell if you’re being phished.

Today, the amount of digital data available is mind-boggling. Similarly amazing is the ever-increasing complexity of data applications. Data, in the hands of the right people, has the ability to improve our lives dramatically. However, online ‘phishermen’ may cause a great deal of damage.

So how can you tell if you’re one of the fishes in their nets? Here’s how. 

Below are five ways to tell if you’re being phished via emails. 


  1. A public email domain is used to send the email.

No respectable company will send emails from a domain ending with ‘’ Not even Google. Except for a few tiny businesses, most businesses will have their own email domain and company accounts. Genuine Google emails, for example, will begin with ‘’ If the domain name (the part following the @ symbol) matches the email’s apparent sender, the message is most likely genuine. The simplest way to check a company’s domain name is to use a search engine to look for the company’s name. This makes detecting phishing seem pretty easy, but cyber thieves have a variety of methods at their disposal to fool you.


  1. Misspelt Domain Names 

There’s another hint in domain names that might help you spot phishing frauds, and it sadly complicates our previous one. The issue is that any registrar may sell a domain name to anyone. Even though each domain name must be unique, there are several techniques to construct email addresses that are indistinguishable from fake ones.


Indecisiveness in recognizing a phishing scam gives the fraudster information about your company’s strengths and shortcomings. It takes them relatively little effort to start additional scams based on this information, and they may keep doing so until they discover someone who falls for it.


Remember that criminal hackers only need one person to make a mistake for their operation to be successful. As a result, everyone in your organization must be confident in their ability to recognize a scam when they encounter one for the first time.


  1. Poorly Worded Emails 

When an email involves bad spelling and language, it is usually a fraud. Many people will tell you that such mistakes are part of a “filtering mechanism” in which cyber thieves target only the most trusting individuals. The notion is that if someone overlooks signs regarding the message’s formatting, they’ll be less likely to notice clues during the scammer’s finale. 


This, however, only applies to bizarre scams like the much-mocked Nigerian prince scam, which requires you to be extraordinarily gullible to fall for. That, and similar schemes, need manual intervention: once someone responds to the bait, the scammer must respond. As a result, it’s in the criminals’ best interests to ensure that the pool of responses includes only individuals who are likely to believe the rest of the fraud. 


  1. It contains potentially harmful attachments or links

Phishing emails come in a variety of shapes and sizes. In this essay, we’ve concentrated on emails, but you might also receive scam text messages, phone calls, or social media postings. However, no matter how phishing emails are sent, they all include a payload. You’ll either be requested to download an infected file or a link to a fraudulent website. These payloads are designed to gather sensitive data such as login credentials, credit card information, phone numbers, and account numbers.


  1. Nothing Adds Up

Trust your instincts. Those who send harmful emails hope to catch you off guard. For starters, your brain analyses visuals more quickly than it does words. If you’re in a rush, you can accidentally click on a dangerous link after your brain approves the logo but before it has time to comprehend anything else. Another way the attackers try to get around the brain is to lend a sense of validity and time sensitivity to the email, which temporarily distracts your thinking processes. What’s the bottom line? Follow your gut impulses. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably needs to be checked.

Nothing is scarier than a phishing attempt when it comes to email. We recommend keeping an eye out for these five phishing signals and can use DMARC so you can spend January reminiscing the past year instead of being terrified by your email!

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