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How to recognise phishing

19 January 2022
Knowing when you can safely open a suspicious-looking email is easier said than done. Here you will find some advice to identify possible phishing emails.

1. Bank or government email
Many phishing attacks are done in the name of banks or the government, such as the tax authorities or DigiD.

2. “Click here to login”
Always be alert to emails with links. Avoid links by going to the relevant website yourself.

3. “Something is going to go wrong”
Pay close attention if this is in the e-mail. It can be a tactic to chase you so that you are less alert.

4. “Watch out! Important"
With this text, malicious parties can try to mislead you. So be vigilant.

5. “Urgent” or “urgent”
Always be wary of these words and don't be rushed into making mistakes.

6. Exclamation mark on email
A colleague can give urgency to an e-mail by adding a (red) exclamation mark to the e-mail. Phishing scammers also use this.

7. No personal salutation
An important email often contains a personal salutation. If this is missing, this may indicate a phishing attack.

8. Sender email address looks strange
Always check the sender's email address. If this looks different than you are used to, give the sender a call.

9. Unexpected request from an acquaintance
Do you receive a strange or unexpected request from someone you know? Then check this via another channel with this acquaintance. It could be a scam (Spoofing).

10. Quotation or invoice as attachment
Attachments (e.g. PDFs or Word documents) are often used to install malware. So be critical when opening attachments.

11. Language Errors
Although this is decreasing, many phishing messages still contain language errors and carelessness.

12. Current world news
Current events are often used in phishing campaigns, such as fake corona messages that appear to come from the government.

For more cyber security tips, go to the information security page and take the cyber security course for employees or students!