The opportunities for cyber crime continue to grow in our increasingly connected world, and it’s more difficult than ever to spot an email scam. It’s definitely worthwhile, however, to learn to spot a phishing scam email, since the outcomes of clicking on a fake link are almost always extremely damaging.

Companies around the globe continue to dedicate significant resources to guarding against cyber attacks, and to cleaning up after an attack is successful. As an employee, you can help keep your networks secure, and these strategies can also keep your personal computers safe from viruses and vulnerabilities.

How To Recognize Scams

It used to be easier for users and for email filtering software to catch scams, and for many, your email filter is still enough. However, IT professionals are now facing more sophisticated methods of email masking that are more difficult for software programs to automatically filter out.

It’s a good idea to take a few moments to check some details in any email that requests an action from you, especially when you aren’t expecting it.

Pay Attention to the Sender’s Email

If you get an unexpected email that has a name you recognize, you should still double check the actual email address where the email originated. Some scammers are able to find out names of individuals of corporations, but fewer scams take the time to create email aliases.

Check Button Links

You may get an email that looks identical to emails that you’ve received in the past that contain a button to view a document. However, the link the button sends you to can be anything. To check on the link, however over the button until either a message box appears next to it, or a link shows up in the very bottom left corner of your browser or mail client. If the link goes to a website you don’t recognize, don’t click the button! Double check with the original sender that they did in fact send you something.


Hover over the button before you click! Also, check for spelling mistakes or funny wording in the text.

Be Careful of Urgency

Many scammers want you to hit the panic button and click on a link before you’ve had time to think things through. If you get an unexpected email from someone warning you that urgent action is required on threat of some irreversible consequence, beware! In the example below, there are three red flags – first the urgency of immediate loss of access, the sender’s email, and the presence of a link that is not in any way connected to this employee’s IT service provider. Delete!

If you ever have doubts about whether an email is legitimate, take the time to double check! Your IT department will thank you for it.

If you need assistance with protecting your company from cyber attacks, Henderson can help! Give our commercial advisers a call for more information.

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