Top 6 Characteristics of a Phishing Email

ICYMI Lunch & Learn Recap

ICYMI (In Case You Missed It) below is the link to watch the video of our recent Lunch & Learn yesterday. Our experts covered the Top 6 Characteristics of a Phishing Email.

Click the link below to watch the video. We find it helps to see some of the words on the page come to life with real world examples of what to look for in a potential phishing scam. We are here to empower you with knowledge as your local MSP (Managed Service Provider).  This knowledge will empower you to avoid potentially sharing sensitive business information online, keeping your business information safe and secure.



Click the link to get your PDF copy of Top 6 Characteristics of a Phishing Email

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1. Sense of urgency
Cyber attackers are opportunistic and take advantage of fragmentations that surround chaos.  Whether it be natural disasters, extreme changes in the economy, or worldwide pandemics, where there is chaos there are impulsive decisions being made.  The attacker’s goal is a clear one which is to get you to take action on the email.  Their message inspires a sense of urgency by suggesting something is at risk if you don’t take action.  Risks can include losing money, your account being closed, or other impending negative results.
2. Suspicious sender address
Look closer, the domain name on that email sent from your top client isn’t what it seems.  Attackers can easily buy a domain name that is close to the domain name in the email you are expecting.  This is called “Spoofing” and it’s easier than you think.  For example, you regularly get emails from  This time the email comes from  The “m” being replaced by “rn” is subtle yet it’s a completely different domain and therefore not who you expect it to be.
3. Generic greeting
If you aren’t addressed by name in the email, the alarms should go off.  Typically if the attacker is casting a “wide-net” while Phishing, they will use generic greetings to start the email that doesn’t include your name.
4. Spelling and grammar mistakes
Spelling and grammar mistakes are key indicators of a Phishing attempt. Legitimate companies take the time to proofread communications before publishing. Some examples include run-on sentences, misspelled words, and missing punctuation marks are all signs that the email is not legitimate.
5. Link to invalid domain
Phishing attempts are pointless unless the attacker can get you to take some sort of action.  The majority of the time they are trying to collect sensitive information.  A common way to do this is to redirect you to a fake online form.  The link and the title of the link are often different.
6. Suspicious attachments
A more malicious tactic is to attach hostile files that, when opened, give the attackers complete access to the network.  Now, the victim is no longer just the one user, it is the entire network and it’s at the mercy of the attacker.  Also, they can use the control they now have to target your contacts from your email platform.  Common file types used include .PDF, .DOC/.DOCX, and .EXE files. However, attack techniques are always evolving.
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