Phishing emails: how to deal with them?
Often a phishing email will look very similar to a normal email you would expect to receive, which is why people can get caught out. Usually the email subject will be around changing a password, discussing transactions, updating information, important notifications etc.
1. Some clues to recognize a phishing email:
- It’s simply addressed to ‘sir’, rather than anyone in particular
- The threat of account suspension – if eBay truly believed the account was being used for fraud they would suspend it immediately
- Spelling and grammar errors – note ‘advise’ is misspelled as ‘advice’. Phishing emails commonly contain errors like this
- The link reveals itself to be a fake website if you hover over it, instead of clicking it
- You should also carefully check the incoming email address. Sometimes it’s complete nonsense, but often it will closely mimic the real address it’s passing itself off as.
2. How can you prevent phishing emails at your hotel?
There’s a whole range of actions you can take to reduce the amount of phishing emails you receive, and also how to make sure you delete them immediately if they make it to your inbox.
Here’s a list of preventative measures for any email you suspect might be fake:
- Ensure anti-spyware, anti-virus, and anti-malware tools are installed and up-to-date on your systems
- Make sure all your applications are regularly updated
- Check the spelling and grammar of emails you receive
- Test links and attachments before opening them
- Pay close attention to email addresses and the specificity of email content – authentic emails will include your name, account information/numbers etc.
- Be wary of fake login screens trying to capture information – the website URL will not be legitimate
- Run an education session for all hotel employees, since less informed staff members may take the bait
There are more complex attacks, known as ‘spear phishing’, which target high profile figures (whales) such as celebrities, but these should affect your hotel far less.