When it comes to marketing your brand, there are various channels and platforms that you can rely on. Social media is one of the top platforms where you can engage your followers. In fact, there are numerous social media tools out there that help facilitate your social media marketing efforts.
At the same time, email remains one of the most reliable channels for you to stay in touch with your followers. That said, it’s not without its vulnerabilities. Phishing attacks are particularly important to guard against. This issue has become even more significant thanks to the growing ubiquity of mobile devices.
According to research, 56% of mobile device users have received and engaged with phishing URLs on their smartphones or tablets. To some degree, this may be a consequence of the UI. Sometimes a small mobile screen doesn’t fully display information that would let a recipient know a URL is untrustworthy, such as the hostname.
Phishing occurs when scammers send emails designed to look as though they are coming from a sender the recipient knows or trusts. They rely on users overlooking certain red flags (such as an incorrect sender domain or surprising grammatical errors in the content) that could otherwise have let them know they were targets of a scam.
That’s why it’s important to familiarize yourself with such red flags. Although it’s essential to take all necessary security measures, one of the best ways to avoid being the victim of a phishing scam is to know how to identify one in the first place. While you can use a verified email list to avoid this issue, consumers have to be a bit more careful. Specifically, keep an eye out for the following warning signs.
Poor Website Design
Phishing scams typically ask email recipients to click on links which bring them to fake versions of real sites. There, users enter account information, thinking they’re providing it to a legitimate service (often one they already use).
Thus, it’s smart not to click on any suspicious links sent to you via email. Even if a link looks trustworthy, you’re better off spending a few extra moments opening a new tab and heading to the site directly.
If you do click on a link, pay attention to the quality of the site’s design. Banner ads for cheap web hosting services, generally unattractive design, and branded imagery that doesn’t seem to perfectly match the company’s actual branded imagery all indicate you’re being scammed.
Are you surprised to receive an email from a particular sender? Is this an unsolicited email from a new contact, or an unexpected email from a contact you haven’t heard from in some time? If so, there’s a good chance you’re being targeted.
Keep in mind that phishers often pretend to represent major brands that recipients are already familiar with. Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Apple are among the top companies imitated in phishing scams. Although any suspicious message is worthy of concern, you should be particularly cautious of unexpected emails from these brands.
The old “http” protocol is a relic from a time when we didn’t realize the degree to which people would misuse the Internet. It’s been replaced by the more secure “https” protocol. You shouldn’t ever click on a URL that uses the old system. In fact, if Chrome is your browser, it will alert you that shouldn’t try to visit a site that hasn’t been secured properly.
It’s no longer acceptable for a site not to use “https.” If a message is from a legitimate sender, they will have upgraded to the new system by now.
Keeping these points in mind is key to staying protected. However, if you represent a major brand, you also need to let followers know if you believe someone is trying to pull a phishing scam by imitating your company. Being proactive and warning your followers about scams will help you maintain their loyalty if this ever does occur.
SUMMING IT UP
While social media has become an important source for developing engagement for your brand, you cannot ignore the power of email as an effective channel for marketing your brand.
The email ends up falling prey to vulnerabilities including phishing scams. Here are few signs to watch out for, if you want to stay wary of any phishing scams-
- A fake version of the real website.
- Unsolicited emails from top brands and authentic-appearing emails.
- Http-based email addresses.