Emails are one of the most popular ways to communicate in the business world, did you know we send an estimated 2.4 million emails every second? Unsurprisingly, there has also been a rise in phishing emails. A study by Verizon in 2016 found that the open rate of phishing emails is a whopping 30%, and 9 out of 10 of those phishing emails contained ransomware.cyber security 1805246 1280 2

Therefore, we’ve put together our top 5 tips on how to spot a phishing email:

1. Always check the senders email address

A good habit to get into, before you even open an email, is to scan over the sender’s email address. Phishing emails often try to imitate the email addresses of trusted corporate giants. So, look out for email addresses with slight variations or spelling mistakes.

2. Take time to read subject lines

Here is a list of the top 10 phishing email subject lines that have made it through the corporate filter and straight into employee’s inboxes in 2017 so far:

1. Security Alert
2. Revised Vacation & Sick Time Policy
3. UPS Label Delivery 1ZBE312TNY00015011
4. BREAKING: United Airlines Passenger Dies from Brain Hemorrhage – VIDEO
5. A Delivery Attempt was made
6. All Employees: Update your Healthcare Info
7. Change of Password Required Immediately
8. Password Check Required Immediately
9. Unusual sign-in activity
10. Urgent Action Required

We’d recommend having a list like this on display in your office, staff awareness is paramount in reducing cyber-attacks. Prevention is cheaper than the cure.

3. Watch for poor grammar and spelling

Typical mistakes to look for are lots of capital letters, extra or no spaces, misspelt words and other similar mistakes. Naturally, a genuine email from a business would be proof read before being sent to the thousands of people on their mailing lists.

4. Is there a threat and/ or pressure for immediate action?

Another method of fake emails is to scare you into giving your details, or fear the consequences. A subject line could be something like ‘We’ve detected ‘unusual activity’ on your account’.

Some phishing emails may pretend to be court officials or police, for example informing you have been caught speeding, and asking for you to pay ‘your speeding fine’ to avoid additional costs.

5. Check for unexpected attachments

Attachments and downloads are the deadly part of the email that contains the ransomware and other malicious software. If in doubt, do not click, and do not open any links or attachments in an email.

If you would like to enquire more about phishing emails, contact us on our email at or phone us on 0800 952 0652.