How to Detect Malicious Emails and Protect Your Company’s Data

Did you know? It only takes one untrained team member to innocently fall for a malicious email scheme to expose your company’s sensitive data that you’ve worked so hard to protect.

The process of hackers using malicious email to con your team into providing your sensitive information or account data is often referred to as phishing. Once this information is supplied, hackers create new user credentials or install malware into your system to steal sensitive data.

Make sure that your team understands how to detect a malicious email and what to do when they suspect that one is lurking in their inbox.  It is important to communicate these detection tips.

6 Ways to Detect a Malicious Email

1. Does the email ask for sensitive information?

Legitimate companies will not send you unsolicited emails that ask you to visit a link, open an attachment, or create a login to provide sensitive information. It’s a SCAM! Do not click on the link, download the attachment, or provide passwords, credit card information, or any other sensitive information.

2. Does the email ask you to download or open an attachment?

As a rule of thumb, most legitimate companies will not send you an email with an unsolicited attachment to collect information. Instead, they will direct you to complete a form or page on their website to download or view the attachment. Again, only provide contact information, do not provide any sensitive information. If you have an established relationship with a company, they may send you attachments as resources. If this is the case, it is likely that you will recognize the email as not being suspicious.

3. Are there misspellings in the email?

Business professionals who work for legitimate companies do not send out mass communications with misspelled words or poor grammar. This is a telltale sign that you’ve received a phishing email. Keep your data secure!

4. Does the email refer to you by name?

This example does not always ring true, but it is definitely something to pay attention to. A legitimate company that has worked with you in the past will have your name. If the email uses a general salutation like “dear customer” or no salutation at all, this can be a sign of a malicious email. Do not engage with this email!

5. Does the from email address match a legitimate domain name?

Before you open any suspicious email, it is important to check the from address. This can be done by hovering your cursor over the from address. Check for slight alterations in the domain name. For example, instead of seeing [email protected], it might look like [email protected] Keep in mind that some companies use variations in domain names in certain email campaigns, but it is worth investigating to protect your data.

6. Is the hyperlink in the email legitimate?

In a phishing email scam, it is common for the email to be adamant about needing to click a link. This link will open a fake webpage and download spam onto your computer. Do not click this link!! You can check the validity of an email by double-checking the URL. Simply hover your cursor over the link and verify that the text matches identically. If it does not, do NOT trust the link!

Ask Bennett Office Technologies for a Free Assessment

Has your business been a victim of a phishing scam? The Bennett Office Technologies professional Computer Support Technicians are here to help. We can help you restore your PC data, improve performance and speed with computer repairs and upgrades, manage your PC software, upgrade your hardware (RAM and disk space), and prevent future computer problems.

Bennett Office Technologies works closely with clients to make the necessary repairs to your PC or laptop. For assistance on determining your personal or business computer needs contact our team of experts at Bennett Office Technologies. Business owners are welcome to complete our Technology Assessment form and we’ll contact you to do a free assessment.

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