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Four Ways to Detect Phishing Threats

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Cybersecurity is a concern for anyone with an online presence, including but not limited to email, social media, and banking software. Phishing, one of the most common types of digital fraud, occurs when a criminal impersonates a trustworthy organization to gain access to your funds, passwords, or personal data. Anyone can fall victim to phishing, so protect yourself by reviewing these four ways to identify phishing threats.

Unbelievable Offers

If you receive notice about a prize for a contest you don't remember entering, ignore the email. It's likely an attempt to collect your personal information, especially if the reward seems too good to be true.

Unusual Details

At first glance, a phishing email may appear to be from your bank, a government agency such as the IRS, or a major company like Netflix. Upon closer review, however, the details may be puzzling or inconsistent. You might notice that the IRS email sender's address includes gmail.com rather than irs.gov, for example. The tone of the message may be less formal than you would expect from an important email. The correspondence will likely have strange-looking links or attachments.

Unexpected Errors

You may detect errors in spelling and grammar that seem suspicious. For example, the domain name might be close to a familiar organization, but misspelled. The email might include odd syntax and word choice issues.

Urgent Messages

Phishing emails urge you to act quickly so you don't have time to evaluate the legitimacy of the message. Be wary of commands to act right away by entering your personal details, sharing credit card information, or clicking a link. The email may mention a short time limit or talk about penalties for failure to respond.

According to data reported by the Federal Trade Commission, phishing cost Americans about $57 million in 2019 alone. With this type of public financial impact, online security has become a rapidly growing industry. If you see a future for yourself in cybersecurity, consider enrolling at Tulane School of Professional Advancement. Our programs of study include a graduate certificate program in Cyber Defense and an MPS in Cybersecurity Management. Contact us online to learn more before starting your application.

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