Tech+ Blog: Bay Area IT Security & Consulting News

Is the email legitimate? How to check it

Jul 16, 2018


Got an email but are unsure if it's safe to open, or click on the links inside?

Everyone gets those pesky spam emails, but sometimes they can also contain infections or information stealing links and attachments. These are steps everyone can take to verify an email.

Below is an example email that was sent to you:

dropbox sample fake email

From: Dropbox>
Date: May 8, 2017 at 8:31:35 AM PDTTo: "">
Subject: Update: 1 new important document - Sharing with Dropbox!

The first place we always start with is the email of the sender, in this case . A person trained in IT may spot that email as being fake from the get go and there are simple steps for anyone to spot fake emails as well.

  • Did you expect to receive an email like this and if so, did they let you know when it would arrive?
  • Compare the email address to others from the same person or company especially after the “@” symbol
  • If you are unsure about the sender, send a direct email to verify what was sent to you.
  • Google the email address. Many times you will not be the first person that they have sent a fake email to. If google results show it as fake or beware, delete the email right away.
  • Websites like dropbox will have a support page that lists all email addresses they will use to contact you. Verify that this email is part of that list.


The steps listed above work to prevent fake emails the vast majority of the time. Remember that these emails rely on people not taking the time to verify the email. Slow down, read, and think before you open something. Otherwise the consequences could be severe.

More Cybersecurity Resources for Small Businesses 

We are here to help! If you have any questions about if an email is legitimate or not we are happy to have you forward it to us to check it out.

We also resell KnowBe4 IT Security Training and Mimecast Email Filtering. Security Awareness Training is an essential part of Cybersecurity. KnowBe4 is a system providing e-learning modules for your employees as well as bi-weekly fake email tests. Where emails are sent to your staff and if they click on them it pops up with training explaining why they shouldn't have done so.

Mimecast works to filter out these scam phishing emails so they don't even get to the end user.