How to Spot a Phishing Attempt

Imagine you’re a small business owner. You get an email from what appears to be your bank. They say there’s been suspicious activity on your account and you need to click a link to verify your identity. This is a phishing attempt! Phishing emails are becoming increasingly sophisticated, but there are still ways to spot them. Here are many ways to spot a phishing attempt:

  • The sender’s email address doesn’t match the name of the company they’re purporting to represent. For example, an email from your bank might come from an address like “” rather than something more specific like “”

  • The email or website looks different from the company’s usual communications. For example, phishing emails often have typos or grammatical errors. Don’t forget to check the URL, too. Phishing websites often have slight misspellings in the web address.
  • You’re asked to click on a link to verify your account or login information. Legitimate companies will never ask you to do this via email – they will direct you to their website instead.
  • The email includes a sense of urgency or threats. For example, you might be told that your account will be suspended unless you take action immediately. That’s a phishing attempt!
  • You’re asked for personal information like your Social Security number, bank account information, or login credentials. Again, legitimate companies will never ask for this kind of sensitive information via email.
  • The offer in the email is too good to be true. For example, you might receive an email claiming that you’ve won a contest you didn’t enter.
  • The email or website contains strange attachments or links. If you’re not expecting an attachment from the company or don’t recognize the link, don’t open it.
  • The email asks you to forward the message to other people. This is a common phishing tactic – phishers hope that if they can get enough people to respond, they can gain access to more accounts.
  • The message is addressed to “Dear Customer” or something similar. Legitimate companies will always address you by name if they have it.
  • The email has an attachment that you weren’t expecting. This could be a Word document, Excel spreadsheet, PDF, or another file type. If you don’t know the sender and the file looks suspicious, don’t open it!

Small businesses are increasingly becoming targets of phishing attacks because they may not have the same cybersecurity protections in place as larger businesses. That’s why it’s important to have a cybersecurity service in place that can help protect your business from these types of threats. Telewire’s cybersecurity services use the latest phishing detection and prevention techniques to keep your business safe. Contact Telewire today to learn more about their cybersecurity services for small businesses.