Verifying Email Authenticity (Questions/Answers)

Not sure if an email is from a trusted contact or a tricky hacker? Check out these dead giveaways to know for sure.

Email is perhaps the most ubiquitous technology used in the business world today – possibly even more so than the phone. It’s instantaneous, can deliver important files, and doesn’t require the immediate attention that a phone call does.

However, just as it’s popular with consumers around the world, it is just as popular a method for hackers trying to do damage to unsuspecting businesses.

We don’t have to drag on and on about the many threats that cybercrime poses to the business world, right? If you work in the modern world, then you’ve heard of big-name cybercrime events like WannaCry. Let’s just leave it at that.

The simple fact is that a misleading email can cause a lot of problems, which is why it’s so important to know how to spot them. By learning how to see the signs, you and your staff can eliminate a considerable threat.

What Are The 3 Main Signs That An Email Is Fake?

While there are plenty of giveaways for a fake email when you know what to look for, there are three in particular that you should keep an eye out for:

  1. The Wrong Domain
    Before even taking a look at the body of the message, check out the domain in the sender’s address. Maybe they claim to be from your bank, or a big name company – but talk is cheap. It’s much more difficult to spoof an actual domain name, and so it’s more common to see domains that are close, but not 100% correct. If it seems fishy, it probably is.
  2. Spelling and Grammatical Errors
    The fact is that a lot of hackers will be working from outside of North America, and so, English isn’t necessarily their first language. When crafting the body of the email, they’re likely to make a few clumsy errors in their spelling or grammar. This is compounded by how quickly they’re working to get the emails sent out in the first place, which leaves little time for editing.
  3. False Hyperlinks
    If the email includes hyperlinks to any external websites, a good clue to look for is when they don’t match the hyperlinked text. The text in question may suggest that it’ll take you to a secure site or something else above board, but that’s not always the case. That’s why it’s important to hover over the link and see where it’s really headed. If it’s to a site that starts with “http” and not “https” then it’s not secure, and should be avoided.

What Are The Top 3 Tips For Email Security?

There are many steps that staff members can take to secure their email, and given that they’re more about practice (common sense and logic), instead of expensive technologies (antivirus, antimalware, etc.), they’re also cost-effective to implement.You can start the process of developing your IT security simply by adopting effective and basic practices. Keep the following in mind:

  1. Keep Link Clicking / Attachment Downloads to a Minimum
    Clicking on links that appear in random emails just isn’t safe. Hyperlinks are commonly used to lead unsuspecting employees to phishing and malware websites. Be sure to only click links when they’re from a confirmed, expected source, and when they aren’t part of a sales pitch, or an attempt to get information from you.Furthermore, suspicious email attachments from unknown or untrustworthy senders are the most common source of malware, ransomware, and other digital threats. Even if it’s from a friend or colleague, consider the message they send along with it; is it worded properly? Does it sound like it’s from them? It’s always a smart move to call the sender or speak in person if possible to confirm that they sent the email. Otherwise, simply delete it until you can be sure of its authenticity.
  2. Manage A Safe Sender’s List
    No matter how new, or costly, or flashy your current spam filter is, it won’t keep unwanted spam out of your inbox forever. Whenever you see that a spammer’s email has made it past your filter, take a moment to block it so that it won’t happen again. Furthermore, make sure to only open emails from confirmed contacts.
  3. Encrypt Your Email
    This is a fundamental part of email security. One-Click email encryption measures are easy to use and ensure that the user’s communication is secured against unwelcome readers while in transit. Furthermore, mobile device capability will allow users to read and send encrypted messages from the mobile platform without having to store the message locally, or any unnecessary battery or bandwidth usage.

Like this article? Check out Windows 10 Enterprise Is Microsoft’s Most Secure Operating System Ever, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Propose Reducing Submission Requirements for Health IT Security Under MIPS, or You’re A Health Care Organization. You’ve Just Had A Data Breach. Now What? to learn more.