Skip to main content

How to spot phishing attempts and stay safe online

Laptop showing email phishing

Does this sound familiar? You get a text saying, “Your Amazon™ account has been suspended. Call this number now.” Or, you receive an email that says, “We were unable to deliver your package. Click this link to retrieve it.” Our best advice: don’t call or click. 

More than likely, these types of texts and emails are phishing attempts. But how do you know for sure? We’ll show you how to tell the difference between legitimate messages and phishing attacks. 

At Asurion, we care about you and your tech—and that includes online safety. Whether you want to protect your phone from hackers or safely use public Wi-Fi, we can help. Here’s our guide to common indicators of phishing attempts  and how to avoid them. 

What is phishing?

Phishing is a type of scam used by cybercriminals to steal someone’s personal data like login credentials or financial information like credit card numbers. Typically, phishing messages look like they’re coming from legitimate sources through text messages, ads, and emails. The good news is, there are ways to spot them. 

Indicators of phishing attempts

Here are some common signs of phishing to look out for: 

Sense of urgency in the message

Scammers want you to panic and react. Beware of urgent messages that are meant to scare you, like “immediate response required” or “payment being processed now.” Another red flag? Lack of contact information. 

Grammatical errors and spelling mistakes

Incorrect punctuation or grammar is often a sign of a phishing email or scam text. Legitimate companies proofread their messages. Don’t open messages with spelling and grammatical mistakes, especially when the sender misspells the name of the company they’re trying to mimic. 

Suspicious attachments or links

Scammers will often attach files to fraudulent emails hoping you’ll download them. These attachments can infect your device with malicious software or steal your data. 

Unfamiliar email addresses

Cyber thieves often create a fake email address and will use it to try to trick you into sharing your personal information. Don’t respond to an email address that you don’t recognize, or even better, delete the email. 

Requests for passwords or credit card details 

Ignore any email or text requests to share your passwords or credit card numbers. If you want to check your account or order something, go directly to the company’s web page.

Tried these steps and still need help? We got you. Get your tech problem solved when you call or chat with an expert now.

 How to protect yourself from phishing attempts 

Now that you know some of the types of phishing attacks to look out for, you can take steps to protect yourself, your tech, and your data. Check out some of our top tips: 

Use a spam filter

Most email servers like Gmail™ and Microsoft Outlook® have built-in junk email or spam filters, which helps stop phishing before it starts. On your phone, you can take it a step further. Check out our guide to how to block scam numbers. 

Update your software

Keep malicious actors out of your devices by keeping your software up to date. As soon as you see a new operating system is available, download it or better yet, turn on automatic updates. 

The exact location of this setting depends on your device and platform, but to update your computer, go to  your Settings, then look for Software Update, System Update, or Update & Security. If you want to update your phone's software, check out our guides for iPhone® and Android™. 

Beware of unknown attachments and links

Never open an attachment or click a link from a sender you don’t know. You could be taken to a malicious website and prompted to enter your personal information. Clicking malicious links could even infect your device with a virus or malware. 

For more tips on how to avoid phishing attempts, check out our guide on how to stay safe online.

Tried these steps and still need help? We got you. Get your tech problem solved when you call or chat with an expert now.

*The Asurion® trademarks and logos are the property of Asurion, LLC. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Asurion is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by any of the respective owners of the other trademarks appearing herein.*


Still need tech help?

Finished the article and still looking for answers? Look no further. We’ve got experts waiting to help you.