How To Distinguish Promotional Emails from Phishing Scams

December 14, 2015 in Cyber Attacks

Your inbox is exploding with holiday promotional emails by now. It is likely that your favorite store is offering 25% off your entire purchase, and all you have to do is “redeem now.” But before you click on that enticing link, consider who the email is actually coming from. Phishing emails are well-crafted emails that trick the user into clicking on links or attachments that collect personal and financial information or contain malware. While deals are great, think before you click, especially during the holiday season.

Signs of a Phishing Email

Suppose you have an Amazon Prime account. A cybercriminal may disguise themselves as Amazon and send you a phishing email targeting your login information. You click the authentic-looking link and enter your login credentials. They now have your login info. They can lock you out and use your information to phish your colleagues, friends and family.

How to Prevent Phishing

You can prevent yourself from becoming a phishing victim by following a few simple steps.

  • If you do get a suspicious email, double-check the sender. Phishing emails are sent from email addresses that look nearly identical to legitimate addresses, with minor alterations. Take a second to look at the source – is your email from or
  • Then, check for spelling and grammar. Would a popular retailer send an email with an excessive number of typos? These are signs the email was sent from someone malicious.
  • Use your spam filters. Spam filters are set to recognize signs of fake emails and will send phishing emails to your spam/junk folder.
  • When in doubt, hover. If the promotional link to the URL doesn’t match the actual site destination listed in the email, don’t click it!
  • Educate yourself. recently published a “Phishing Quiz” that can help you learn to recognize common phishing tricks.

Visit the SiteLock blog to learn more about the disastrous effects of phishing scams.

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