Phishing is one of the oldest forms of cyber crimes. Cyber criminals usually stage typical phishing attacks against specific targets. Success chances for a phishing attack vary considerably. However, one of the most common factors that spot phishing attacks succeeds or not is how you respond. If you respond to the messages that hackers send to you; then you make things easy for the criminals, however, if you do not respond, you reduce the success chances of the phishing attack considerably.
Ways to spot phishing attacks
Here are some of the things you should look out for to defeats and spot phishing attacks:
If the message has inconsistent URLs
If you ever suspect an email, the first thing to do is check the integrity of the URL. Most times, the URL in a potential phishing email will seem to be valid. If you place your mouse on the URL, it will display the real URL. If both of these emails are not the same, it is a phishing mail.
Poor grammar and spelling
Nearly all scam messages have poor grammar and spelling. Remember that not all messages having poor grammar are from scammers. However, be wary of messages in which the sender claims to be a representative of a major organization and the messages are poorly written.
Corporate organizations and big companies will never send out emails without paying attentions to grammar and spellings. They will want to pass a message to clients or customers with a different background. Therefore, they can’t afford to let their message have these errors. This is not the same with phishing emails. They are usually filled with spelling and grammatical errors.
The reason why phishing messages have poor grammar is simple: the scammers do not speak proper English in the first place. Also, given that the scammers are rushing to send out as many emails as possible, they do not have the time to crosscheck their messages before sending them out.
If the message asks for your personal information
The aim of all phishing messages is to steal your personal information. Criminals usually target your personal details to steal your identity or even your money. Therefore, all the stories that such messages contain usually form a smoke screen to conceal their real aim.
Legal organizations will not ask for your personal information via the email message. For instance, your bank cannot ask for such personal information through email message since they already have the information. Similarly, other legal corporations will not ask for your login credentials via the email message. Whenever you receive any message that asks for your personal or login details, it should be suspected.
Therefore, be wary of messages that ask you to key in your personal information on some special website. Usually, scammers ask you to follow a link to a page where you have to provide your information. They lie that you have to do this to avoid falling victim to a major scam!
You can’t connect with the message
If you can’t relate to the message in mail, simply ignore it as it’s a phishing attack. This means that you should know the reason for the message in the email. For instance, a message that informs you that you have just won the lottery while you have never made such a move should be treated with caution. Look for such loopholes in messages. You are likely to find them.
Sadly, many people fall victim to phishing attacks because they are curious. Scammers usually try to send you a message that reflects your interests. For example, if you like visiting adult sites, you may one day receive a message that asks you to check out something new. Out of curiosity, you may click a link to see the steamy news videos, only to end up as a victim.
A message asking you to send money
Lastly, this is another tip to identify a message as a phishing attack. When an email asks you to send money to cover some fee or expenses, such a message is malicious. If you are involved in a business transaction with any legit partner, email messages will not be the means of asking for money to cover expenses.
In conclusion, you can spot phishing attacks very easily. All you need to do is to discipline yourself and avoid falling into the temptation of opening or even responding to such messages.