Let's start the year safely. Phishing is the simplest cyber attack method. However, it is one of the most dangerous and effective. Here are 10 tips to spot phishing scams. Everyone should read this - from the administrator to the director!

1. Phishing emails contain hyperlinks with malicious URLs that lead to fake websites. Be careful! Hover over the hyperlink to see the actual URL.

2. Phishing emails often contain hyperlinks with URLs that lack security certificates. These URLs begin with http://. Protected URLs start with https: //.

3. Phishing emails often contain attachments, such as a fake invoice or a document with hyperlinks to malware.

4. Phishing emails also include general greetings, such as "Dear Customer".

5. Phishing emails may look official and contain information that suspicious activity or attempts to sign in to your account have been noticed, or that there was a problem with your billing information.

6. Be careful if you need to follow a link e.g., update your payment information or get the latest information about COVID-19.

7. Phishing emails often have spelling errors and poor grammar in the subject line and body of the message. In order to bypass filters, scammers deliberately change words and write with errors.

8. Phishing emails are usually sent from fake email addresses that differ from the original address, sometimes by only 1 letter or symbol.

9. Phishing emails are designed to cause panic and prompt action, such as threatening to close an account if the recipient does not do something immediately.

10. Phishing emails often appear to come from managers or partners. Such messages are usually sent with a request to register somewhere or transfer money to an unauthorized account.

Cyber hygiene should never take a back seat. Everyone will experience an uptick in phishing attacks as a result of the global Coronavirus pandemic. Cybercriminals thrive on chaos, whether it’s real or perceived.