Anatomy of a Phishing Email

Posted on: July 23, 2013 | By: Christina Bonds | Filed under: Info Security

The purpose of a phishing email is to get your money or personal information.  Recognizing phishing emails is the first step in protecting yourself from becoming a victim.  Below are some common things to look for in email messages.

How to Recognize Phishing Emails

  • Urgent messages and threats of account closures
  • Misspellings and bad grammar
  • Deals that sound too good to be true
  • Requests to donate to a charitable organization after a disaster that has been on the news
  • Promises of money for little or no effort, just asking you to give account information

Below is a real phishing email sent to users.  Problems that make the email suspicious are highlighted.


Remember to read all of your emails carefully before clicking on any links or opening file attachments.  Read the Think Before You Click blog post for hyperlink safety tips.

Next Tuesday’s Topic:  Http vs. Https

Christina Bonds

Christina Bonds

Christina Bonds, CISSP, is an Application Developer at Elon University

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