How to Protect Yourself Against Phishing Emails

It is important to be wary of emails that seems in any way suspicious. The email send could be a phishing scam asking you to confirm personal account information such as a password or to send a payment.

What is Phishing?
Phishing (pronounced “fishing”) is a type of online identity theft. Cyber criminals attempt to trick individuals by creating and sending fake emails that appear to be from an authentic source, such as a business or colleague.. The emails are designed to steal your personal data or information such as credit card numbers, passwords, account data or other information.

If an email looks suspicious, don't risk your personal information by opening or responding to the message. Below are 5 ways to spot phishing attempts and help protect yourself against these threats when suspicious mail arrives in your mailbox:


1. The email asks you to send a payment

The phishing email may come from an address that appears to be genuine. Criminals aim to trick recipients by including the name of a legitimate company within the structure of email and web addresses. If you only glance at these details they can look very real but if you take a moment to actually examine the email address you may find that it’s a bogus variation intended to appear authentic ‒ for example: @mail.startupgrind.work as opposed to @startupgrind.com

The sender may ask you to make a payment or purchase gift cards and share the code. 
Recently, a phishing email was sent to one our SG directors. The emailer pretended to be Derek, by using his name (but different email ID).

The email is clearly not Derek's!

2. The email asks you to confirm personal information

Keep an eye out for emails requesting you to confirm personal information that you would never usually provide, such as banking details or login credentials. Do not reply or click any links if you think there’s a possibility that the email is not genuine. Do not use any communication method provided in the email.

3. The email is poorly written

You can spot a phishing email simply by the poor language used in the body of the message. Read the email and check for spelling and grammatical mistakes, as well as strange turns of phrase.

4. There’s a suspicious attachment

The attachment could contain a malicious URL or trojan, leading to the installation of a virus or malware on your PC or network. Even if you think an attachment is genuine, it’s good practice to always scan it first using antivirus software.

5. Requires an immediate response

It is common for phishing emails to instill panic or sense of urgency in the recipient. The email may claim that your account may have been compromised and the only way to verify it is to enter your login details. Alternatively, the email might state that your account will be closed if you do not act immediately. Ensure that you take the time to really think about whether an email is asking something reasonable of you.

What to do when you receive a suspicious email?

1. Report it to ford@startupgrind.com

2. Delete it to prevent yourself from accidentally opening the message in the future.

3. Do not download any attachments accompanying the message. Attachments may contain malware such as viruses or spyware.
4. Never click links that appear in the message. Links embedded within phishing messages direct you to fraudulent websites.
5. Do not reply to the sender. Ignore any requests the sender may solicit and do not call phone numbers provided in the message.

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