Email has become an integral part of our daily lives, facilitating communication, collaboration, and business transactions. However, alongside its convenience comes the lurking threat of phishing scam emails. Phishing scams have become increasingly sophisticated, targeting individuals and organizations alike with the aim of stealing sensitive information, such as passwords, credit card numbers, and personal data. We'll delve into the world of phishing scams, exploring how they work and providing essential best practices to help you stay safe online.

Understanding Phishing Scam Emails

Phishing scam emails typically masquerade as legitimate communications from reputable sources, such as banks, social media platforms, or government agencies. These emails often employ tactics to trick recipients into divulging confidential information or clicking on malicious links. Common characteristics of phishing emails include:

  • Urgency: Phishing emails often create a sense of urgency, prompting recipients to take immediate action, such as updating account information or verifying their identity.
  • Spoofed Sender Addresses: Scammers frequently impersonate trusted entities by using spoofed email addresses that appear legitimate at first glance.
  • Suspicious Links and Attachments: Phishing emails may contain links to fake websites designed to steal login credentials or malware-infected attachments that compromise the security of your device.

Best Practices to Prevent Falling for Phishing Scam Emails

Protecting yourself from phishing scams requires vigilance and awareness. A popular cyber-security practice which go’s by the acronym SLAM is a method that users can follow to quickly identiy and remediate popular phishing scam attacks.

SLAM stands for Senders, Links, Attachments, and Message:


When hackers send phishing emails, they often mimic a trusted sender’s email address to trick recipients into opening the email. This is why it is important to analyze a sender’s email address before opening an unsolicited email. To check an email address for validity, recipients should hover their mouse over the sender name to reveal where the email came from prior to opening it. For instance, an email coming from is not a legitimate Microsoft email address. An email coming from Microsoft support would read


Phishing emails generally contain links that enable hackers to steal a recipient’s login credentials and infiltrate their network. Just like with the sender’s email address, links contained in an email should be hovered over to check the legitimacy of the link. Is the URL actually directing you to the page it says it will? Are there misspellings in the link address? It is also best practices to, rather than clicking on a link in the email itself, to go to the company website directly. For instance, many phishing emails wrongly state that your login credentials for a particular company were compromised, providing a reset link in the body of the email.


You should never open an email attachment from any sender that you do not know. However, even when you do know the sender, you should not open unsolicited email attachments. Hackers often send malicious email attachments using a compromised email address’ contact list to infiltrate the recipient’s system.


While phishing emails have become more sophisticated over the years, the content of the message itself can often be a dead giveaway. Phishing emails often contain generic greetings, misspellings, grammatical errors, or strange wording. Emails that contain any of these issues should not be trusted.

What to Do When You Recognize a Phishing Email

While you can use the SLAM method to help you identify phishing emails, it is also important to know what to do when you recognize one.

  1. Mark the email as spam
  2. Report the phishing attempt to management so that they can alert other employees
  3. Report the email to your IT department or MSP so that they can blacklist the sender’s domain address
  4. Do not forward the email to anyone

By following these best practices, you can minimize the risk of falling victim to fraudulent emails:

  • Verify Sender Identities: Before responding to any email requesting sensitive information or clicking on links, carefully examine the sender's email address. Legitimate organizations typically use domain names that closely match their official websites.
  • Exercise Caution with Links and Attachments: Avoid clicking on suspicious links or downloading attachments from unknown senders. Hover your mouse over hyperlinks to preview the URL and ensure it matches the purported destination.
  • Scrutinize Email Content: Pay close attention to the content of emails, especially those urging immediate action or threatening consequences for non-compliance. Legitimate organizations typically address recipients by name and provide specific details relevant to their account.
  • Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Implementing MFA adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to verify their identity through multiple authentication methods, such as a password combined with a code sent to their mobile device.
  • Keep Software Updated: Regularly update your operating system, antivirus software, and web browsers to patch security vulnerabilities and protect against known threats.
  • Educate Yourself and Others: Stay informed about the latest phishing techniques and educate friends, family members, and colleagues about the importance of online security. Encourage them to report suspicious emails and seek guidance if unsure about the legitimacy of a message.
  • Use Spam Filters: Enable spam filters provided by your email service provider to automatically detect and quarantine suspicious emails before they reach your inbox.

Phishing scam emails pose a significant threat to individuals and organizations, but by adopting proactive security measures and practicing vigilance, you can reduce the likelihood of falling victim to these fraudulent schemes. Remember to verify sender identities, exercise caution with links and attachments, and stay informed about evolving phishing tactics. By prioritizing online safety, you can protect yourself and others from the harmful consequences of phishing scams.

If you want to learn more about how Natural Networks can help protect your email from spam and phishing scams, give us a call today!