5 Easy Ways to Identify a Malicious Email

As local leaders in the cybersecurity industry, the experts at Dyrand hate nothing more than when our clients – or other innocent people – get scammed through their email. While Dyrand is the perfect provider of cybersecurity for small businesses, there are some simple things you can do to protect yourself and your company from cyber-attacks. Cybersecurity is not something to be taken lightly, as even small breaches can lead to major headaches and losses. As a renowned cybersecurity company with years of experience in the industry we identify red flags on a regular basis and you, too, can learn the basics. To start, here are 5 ways to identify a malicious email in your inbox:

1. Strange Correspondence with the Recipient

As far as cybersecurity goes this one is easy to catch. If you are being addressed in a strange or unprofessional way, that can be a pretty obvious red flag. Beyond that, look at how the sender signs off. If it seems fishy, it probably is.

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2. Poor Grammar or Translation

This is another easy one. If the body of the email is very poorly written, full of grammatical errors, or looks like it was translated from another language you can probably send it straight into your Trash. It doesn’t take a professional cybersecurity company to tell you something strange may be afoot.

3. Incorrect Sender Address

While sometimes tricky to spot, serious scammers can initiate a conversation or hack by masking their address. To catch this, double-check that the name of the sender matches the address it is being sent from. Further, do the legwork to make sure the domain name of the company attached to the email (anything after the @ symbol) is correct. Something as simple as a hyphen is easy to miss on your end and enough for scammers to create a fake account.

4. Suspicious Links

If you are at all concerned about an email, and there are hyperlinks embedded within the body of the text, do not click them! Sometimes these embedded links will force a download on your computer, which can lead to major problems. By simply hovering your cursor over a link – without clicking it – you can view the destination URL. If it seems suspicious or not what you were expecting to see, it is likely a scam.

5. Unbelievable Content

We have all received these emails – you have won some major contest you don’t remember signing up for, a foreign prince has millions of dollars to give away, or a long-lost relative is eager to share with you their inheritance. This type of scam seems easy to catch, yet it fools people every year. As a leading cybersecurity company for small businesses, we often tell our clients that if it seems too good to be true it probably is.

As far as your inbox goes, it is good practice to enable a spam filter and “disable HTML” or “Read in plain text.” When you go to check your emails, make sure you can read the full email address of the sender, do not click on URLs without seeing the full link, and absolutely do not open or download attachments without knowing their contents. After you have identified an email as spam or a scam, send it to your Trash. It is also prudent to report that email as Spam so similar emails in the future will be flagged as such.

The above red flags and basic habits are a great foundation for protecting your business from cybersecurity attacks. If you feel like you need more, give the experts at Dyrand a call today to discover how we can help provide cybersecurity for small businesses and large businesses alike.