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Watch out for risky COVID-19 emails!

Fraudsters and scammers are taking advantage of trending topics in the news, especially now in times of the coronavirus scare. Some of their scams are a direct threat to IT staff, the organizations they are working for, and their customers. In brief: to all of us!

In this blog, we give you some tips on how to recognize phishing emails. Phishing emails are deceptive emails trying to trick you into helping scammers to collect sensitive information, gain access to valuable company assets, or steal money. Identifying phishing emails can be quite challenging.

You should pay attention to three email specific building blocks. Ask yourself at least the following questions:

  • Details about the sender: “Do I know this person?” (person = the sender)
  • The context of the email: “Has the purpose of this email a contextual meaning for the work I do?”
  • The content of the email:
    • “Does the content contain contextual information that makes sense to me?”
    • Do I need to do something that seems suspicious?”
      We mean a call to action such as ‘click on a link,’ ‘download a file,’ ‘login to a portal,’ ‘disclose information,’ etc.
    • Has the mail a sense of urgency?”
      A sense of urgency always has the intention to touch or change your emotions and results in many cases in curiosity, anxiety, sympathy, humanity, charity, etc.
    • Has the mail a malicious intent?”
      Examples are causing harm, hidden delivery of malicious software programs, etc.

Answering these questions will result in:

  • A behavioral change in dealing with incoming emails and phishing;
  • Increase your alertness and readiness regarding phishing emails;
  • Being recognized by others as a security-ambassador. Positive feedback from others will let you enjoy being a security-ambassador.

In summary: watch out! Don’t let your emotions prevent you from being aware!

Please keep an eye on our website and social media pages. Our next blog will be about practical ways to detect phishing emails.

Take care of each other!

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