How to Determine if an Email is a Phishing Email

Hackers are becoming smarter than ever. How are you supposed to determine if they are tricking you with a phishing email or not?

Tip #1: Double and Triple Check The Email Address

Is the email really from your IT Support Team? Like we said before hackers are really smart. They will use an email that looks familiar to you so you will be more likely to glance over it too quickly. An easy tip to remember is to hover over the email address so you can see who really sent the email and you can determine if the email is fake or not. If you are on your mobile device, tap the name in the "from" field to see the true email address. Also look for any extra characters or misspellings in the email address.

Tip #2: Financial Emails With No Name

Usually, when it comes to banking or financial emails, they will address you by your first and last name. If your bank sends you an email that isn't personalized then it could be a phishing email. Hackers like to address emails with "Sir" or "Madam." Always check to make sure it looks like previous emails from your bank. The slightest thing can be changed to make you think it is really your bank.

Tip #3: Be Careful When Using Gift Cards

Gift card scams are becoming more popular. Hackers will actually pose as an IRS agent asking for you to pay your taxes by buying an iTunes card or other gift cards from retail stores. Remember that no one will ever request you to pay your taxes in the form of a gift card.

Tip #4: Doubt You Need to Act "Right Now"

Watch out for the tricky emails that urge you to do something "Right Now." This is a good indicator that it is a phishing email. Most of the time you don't have to do something so urgently.

Tip #5: Do a Double Take Before Downloading an Attachment

Only open and download attachments that you were expecting. Downloading files is the main way for hackers to gain access to your smartphone or computer. Just by that download, they can take over your computer and access sensitive information.