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7 Tips on spotting social engineering in emails

Posted by Steven Lai on Sat, Apr 01, 2017
Steven Lai

Cyber crime is increasing every year, even though very smart tatics are made and applied by businesses. Companies rightfuly apply cyber security tactics in order to protect their employees and data.  But the real question is, are they doing enough?


 Cyber criminals every move

Attackers continue to make phone calls to gain information by using social engineering.  Social engineering is an art form of manipulating, influencing and deceiving a person, to gain control over their computer system. This manipulation is now being used not just through phones but also in emails, snail mail and direct contact. 

Examples of Social Engineering and how to avoid them

Social Engineering can be used in many waysa fews of these include:

  1.  Impersonating  a celebrity or someone you're familiar with on social media.
  2. Fake URL links that install malicious software if clicked.
  3. Tricking people into thinking they are speaking to Microsoft, or their IT Managed Services provider to gain access to computers
  4. Pop ups on your computer with messages that make you want to click them

Below are some tips on how to keep you and your data safe.


7 tips on spotting social engineering emails



  1. Receiving an email from a sender that you are not familiar with. THIS is a clear indicator that it can be a potential threat.  Especially when someone is outside of your organization that you work for. Also think about the domain and think about whether you have a business relationship with this individual.

  2. Emails sent to mutiple people, outside of your social or business circle.

  3. Hyperlinks in the email.  Especially ones where there are mispelled words or no further information as to where that link may lead to.

  4. Emails sent outside of regular business hours.  Check the date and time on an email, emails sent during late night or very early morning are an indication of a fake email.

  5. Subjects not matching the messages.   Make sure to check the subject of the email. 

  6. Files attached to Emails.   NEVER CLICK ON THEM!

  7. Always check the content of the message. Does it make any sense? Does it have mutiple grammar mistakes? Does it seem nonsensical ? Did it ask you to look at or open a file? Don't do IT.  Think before you click.


1. https://www.knowbe4.com/what-is-social-engineering/

2. https://blog.knowbe4.com/mandiant-m-trands-2017-cybercrime-skills-now-on-par-with-nation-states?utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=47415452&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_gBZMYRMkFYORaRt1yXOYEodw2XxTrfWkqcW3NdLexw-OVRFb7FyhJOCF2rv7BXdJM_-ntXLQfohYuQXnDzSOtN5_cNw&_hsmi=47415452

Photo Credits :http://monroevillein.com/question-mark/


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