Phishing. Whilst the name sounds innocent and rather like a favourite past time involving rods and reels, this kind of phishing isn’t good.

Phishing is a form of hacking. It is engineering that attempts to steal your sensitive information. The end goal for the attacker, or phisher, is to compromise your systems to find and use your usernames, passwords and other account or financial data – e.g. your bank account details.

The most common way that phishing occurs is via email. So, how do you know if the email you’ve received is legitimate or a fraudulent phishing email?

Here are our top tips to identify phishing emails:

1) Check the domain name
Phishing emails quite often look genuine on the surface, but if you take a closer look, the domain name – that is, the part after the @ symbol – is incorrect. You can also click on the sender to see the full details of their address.

2) Look closely at spelling and grammar
This is where your English classes of years past come in handy again! Have a close look at the way the email is crafted. Phishing emails often use poor spelling and grammar.

3) Is it pushy?
Is the email asking you to act immediately? To do something for the sender right now? Phishing emails usually call for urgent action from you, e.g. set up wire a transfer, or pay a debt quickly.

4) Use your common sense
You’ve been a customer with your bank for years, so why would they be asking you for your contact and bank account details? Financial institutions will never ask for your login details, just as Government departments will not send you official documents, and documents requiring your prompt response, via email. If it’s not a document you were expecting, then just disregard it.

5) Let us help you
centreRED are the experts. If you’re ever unsure about an email you have received, send it through to us and we can help you identify whether it’s a genuine email.