Jessica Fisher

How to Identify a Malicious Email

Jessica Fisher, Public Information Assistant, 509.625.6749

Tuesday, October 23, 2018 at 2:13 p.m.

How to Identify a Malicious Email

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month. Throughout the month we have focused on providing our citizens with information on how to stay safe online. This week we are focused on how to identify malicious emails.

Here are five tips on how you can identify malicious emails.

  1. Check the senders address
    Make sure the senders name matches their email address and if the domain of the company is correct. To see this change your email settings to show both the senders display name and email address.
  2. How are you addressed in the email?
    Look at how the email addressed you. You should be addressed by name instead of a generic way like “Dear customer.” Also, make sure they spelled your entire name correctly.
  3. Check the URLs
    DO NOT immediately click on links in the email. Hover over the URL and see if it looks like a legit URL their business would use. Be aware of shortened links and URLs that automatically download files.
  4. Spelling and grammar
    Read the full email and see if there are any spelling or grammar errors.
  5. Check the Content
    Is the email offering a deal that is too good to be true? If so, it probably is too good to be true. Emails asking for a small investment with a guaranteed high reward are usually a scam.

If you expect you have received a malicious email report it as spam and delete it. If you are unsure whether the email is dangerous you can reach out to the sender via a separate email, DO NOT use the reply option.

Learn more about email and internet safety at the upcoming Secure Spokane event on Saturday, October 27 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Spokane Falls Community College.

Happy Cyber Security Awareness Month!

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