Phishing Email - Protect yourself at work and at home

Another quick reminder on “How to Spot a Phishing Email”.

Email phishing is THE most common way for cybercriminals to get access to your computer and steal sensitive data. Recently, there have been several incidents in the news, one of which is the “WannaCry” virus, sent to people by phishing emails.

For an email phishing attack to work, they need to trick you into doing something (click a link, download an attachment, etc). But, there are always clues that it is a phishing email. Here are ways to spot a phishing email:

  • The email has an urgency or fear to get you to do something immediately or something bad will happen (e.g. click here to “fix a virus on your computer”, “unblock your account”, or “win an iPhone”).

  • The message has a generic salutation, such as “Dear Customer”. Companies know your name if you do business with them.

  • The message requests sensitive information, such as a password, credit card number, or social security number. NEVER gives this information over.

  • The message says it comes from an official or organization, but uses a personal email account in a domain such as,,, or, and may have poor grammar or spelling.

  • The message seems to be from someone you know, but it does not look right. Get their phone number from another source and give them a call (user-friendly aliases and even “From:” addresses are easy to fake).

This content is derived from a post by the LA Cyber Lab