You probably already know that spam emails can be incredibly dangerous, potentially allowing malware, ransomware, and other viruses into your network. You might have even installed spam filters into your company email accounts. But because those spam filters aren’t always perfect, it’s a good idea to learn how to identify suspicious emails the old fashioned ways.

Check the subject line. You might spot pushy sales language, meant to provoke the “fear of missing out.” Or, the email subject line might warn you of some type of alarming danger, such as a problem with your bank account. The point is to make you feel rushed, so that you open the email or otherwise follow instructions before you have time to think critically.

Inspect the email address. Don’t rely on the sender’s “name”, because that can be faked. Allow your mouse to hover over the actual email address of the sender and inspect it closely. Sometimes bogus email addresses will look real at first, but upon closer inspection you will discover that there is a slight misspelling or other alteration.

Read the email critically. The sender might not address you by name, instead calling you “dear customer” or “valued friend.” Another common sign of spam emails is wording that seems a bit like broken English; grammar or word choice will seem unusual, or sentence structure won’t feel correct for the tone of the email. Remember those old “Nigerian prince” emails from the 1990s? Con artist methods are a bit more sophisticated these days, but they often still carry that same odd tone.

Be careful with links. Spam emails will often direct you to a website that appears legitimate, but it’s really just a landing page to gather your login credentials for nefarious purposes. Rather than entering your username and password on pages linked through email, open your browser and navigate to the known page directly.

Don’t open attachments. Unless you’re sure of the sender’s identity and you’ve verified an attachment with them, don’t open it! These can even be sent by mistake if the email of someone you know has been infected with a virus.

Educate your employees. Teach your employees how to spot bogus emails, too. Your network is only as secure as each computer on it.

And of course, call us at 888-RING-MY-TECH so that we can help you set up sound security protocols that will protect your business network and all of your equipment.