I received a suspicious email. Should I open it?

Despite the use of both on premise and cloud based email Spam filters, there is no sure-fire way to prevent all malicious email from entering into your inbox.

The use of Spam filters does drastically cut down on the amount of junk and spam email that is destined for your Server / Mailbox, however, this is no exact science to what is and what is not allowed through. If these filters are too restrictive then legitimate emails will get stopped and classified as spam. Conversely if they are too permissive then additional spam / junk mail will be allowed through.

If you receive an email that is not from a trusted source or just appears to be suspicious, the main security threat is not in opening the email, but rather in clicking on the links or opening any attachments that might be included.

The key things to look out for with an email that you are not sure of are misspellings and grammatical mistakes and ask yourself – do you know the sender? Does the email look genuine?

10 Key Tips to Avoiding Email Scams

  • Urgent Payment request: If the email is requesting an urgent payment, always confirm with the sender by phone (where possible) that they have sent this email.
  • Emails containing links: Generally, you should be suspicious of any email that includes a link in it. You may verify the target of the link by hovering over the link text in the message. The link URL will temporarily display in a pop-up box. Examination of the URL will reveal the target website. If this is different from what you are expecting, then this email is highly likely to be a scam.
  • Strange Requests: Your bank won’t ever email you for your PINs or card information. Be suspicious of emails requesting your National Insurance Number, identification number or other sensitive information.
  • The Government Scam: These emails are made to look as if they come from government agencies, such as the Inland Revenue. If they want to get a hold of you, it won’t be through email.
  • Do not reply to emails that appear to be from Amazon, Hotmail, Gmail, eBay etc. that request you to change your password or follow a link within the email to do so.
  • The Expiration Date: A company claims you have an account that is about to expire, and you need to sign in to keep your data. Again, sign in directly to the member website instead of clicking on a link in the email itself.
  • You’ve Won: Claims you’ve won a contest you never entered. You’re not that lucky; delete the email.
  • Don’t ever divulge passwords or account numbers over email.
  • Never Ever open attachments from people you do not know.
  • Sender’s Email Address: You can also check who sent the email by looking at the send address. It may say it’s from North Bank, but the email may be something strange like northbank@hotmail.com. The sender’s email should not be using a public Internet account like Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo!, etc. Also a legitimate email from your bank or business will address you by name rather than as “Valued Customer” (or something similar).

If you are unsure of any of the above always call Entegraty helpdesk. It’s better to be safe than sorry!