How to Spot Spam and Phishing Emails

How to Spot Spam and Phishing Emails

Spam seems like more of an annoyance, but the truth is that spam can actually be quite harmful. Chances are, they aren’t really trying to sell you cheap medications or interested in ‘helping’ you in any way. In fact, it’s just an easy way to your data and implementing viruses. So it’s important that you be able to spot spam if you run into it.

*Note: even the best email systems allow some spam through, so don’t depend on your provider alone.

How to spot spam:

Look at the from address

If you don’t know the address, or it doesn’t match the name, be suspicious. Often it can look like the name of someone you might know, but look at the actual email address. Is it coming from that friend or or is it coming from something like If the email doesn’t look legit, don’t open or click on anything.

Subject line

We know what spammy subject lines look like, right?

  • Free Gift for You
  • Cheap Viagra

Of course, there’s also spam that looks just like the real thing too, so even though this one is easily caught by a lot of filters, the following two should help too!


While many people forgive the misspelling of words and overlook it as a marketing error, the truth is often they are purposely misspelling words – especially in the subject line. Spam filters are getting better so there are certain words that get phishing emails caught. To avoid that, hackers are purposely misspelling words so they don’t get caught.

Calls to Action

If the email wants you to give personal information or wants you to follow a link to give personal information, this is likely not a legit email. If it is your bank, Amazon, Google or another big company. You can log into their website through your browser, not the link and check your information. If there is something critical to your account, you should have a message there. No company would ever ask that you email back with personal information.

Check links

Just because a link is hyperlinked, doesn’t mean that what you see in the text is where you are going. If you hover over the link, you should be able to see in the lower left-hand side of your browser what that link actually points to. When in doubt, again, go to that companies site, sign in there and see if there are any notifications. If you are still concerned, call the company from a number provided on their site, not through an email link.

These are the most common ways to spot spam. Again, if you have an email tool, their protection is likely not enough to catch all spam. If you are concerned that you or one of your employees may accidentally open spam and put your data at risk, contact us. We know about email protection and we can find the right tool to fit your business.

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