Phishing scam emails are on the rise in South Africa. With increasingly convincing impersonation tactics, cybercriminals are tricking unsuspecting recipients into clicking links and handing over sensitive information. Don’t become a victim! Learn how to recognise phishing emails and stay protected with the right security tools.
Watch for Red Flags in the Sender Details
A clever phishing email will look nearly identical to a legitimate message from a real company. The “from” name, email address, and branding may all match the real deal. But look closer for small discrepancies that give it away – an extra letter in the name, a mismatched domain, or slight differences in logos. Phishers get these details oh-so-close to the real thing hoping you won’t spot the differences at first glance. Slow down and scrutinise the sender details before interacting with any email.
Be Wary of Creating Urgency or Fear
A common phishing tactic is to instil a sense of urgency or fear so you’ll act before thinking it through. Subject lines may say “Urgent notice!” or “Your account has been compromised.” The email itself may threaten account suspension, legal action, or other repercussions if you don’t immediately click their link and provide info. Phishers know playing on emotions like fear and urgency causes people to let their guard down. Stay calm and collected, and don’t fall for it.
Watch for “Too Good to Be True” Offers
Phishing scams often tantalise with irresistible offers – you’ve won a prize, qualified for a free gift card, or are invited to an exclusive event. Even big brands are not immune to these scams – in recent years, curiosity and excitement tempted many South Africans to click on the fake surveys and contest emails from the likes of Pick n Pay and Woolworths. The bottom line is: if it seems too good to be true, it almost always is. Check directly with the company through their official website before clicking links.
Use Security Tools for Protection
Thankfully, you’re not defenceless against phishing. Smart South African web hosts like 1-grid offer security solutions to help identify and block phishing attempts across email, devices, networks, and websites. Email security can quarantine dangerous messages before they reach your inbox. Antivirus software can detect and disable malicious links and attachments. Web application firewalls block phishing content from reaching your site. With the right protection, you can thwart phishing attacks before they cause harm.
Stay Alert and Trust Your Instincts
At the end of the day, your greatest protection against phishing scams is vigilance. Pay close attention to sender details and content, and go with your gut if something seems off. Resist urgency and don’t take the bait of extravagant offers. Use security tools for an added layer of defence. With heightened awareness and the right solutions, you can confidently spot and stop phishing scams in their tracks.
For more information and top tips on how to spot a scam email, check out our helpful Knowledge Base article here.