Top 10 Suspicious Email Subject Lines

Phishing emails related to working from home are on the rise, according to the latest report from KnowBe4. Social media messages are another area of concern when it comes to phishing, and LinkedIn phishing messages dominate as the top social media email subject to watch out for, holding the number one spot at 47%.

“It’s no surprise that phishing attacks related to working from home are increasing given that many countries around the world have seen their employees working from home offices for nearly a year now,” says Stu Sjouwerman, CEO of KnowBe4.

“Just because employees may be more used to their home office environment doesn’t mean that they can let their guard down. The bad guys deploy manipulative attacks intended to strike certain emotions to cause end-users to skip critical thinking and go straight for that detrimental click.”

In Q4 2020, KnowBe4 examined tens of thousands of email subject lines from simulated phishing tests. The organization also reviewed ‘in-the-wild’ email subject lines that show actual emails users received and reported to their IT departments as suspicious.


Top 10 General Email Subjects:

  • Password Check Required Immediately
  • Touch base on meeting next week
  • Vacation Policy Update
  • COVID-19 Remote Work Policy Update
  • Important: Dress Code Changes
  • Scheduled Server Maintenance — No Internet Access
  • De-activation of [[email]] in process
  • Please review the leave law requirements
  • You have been added to a team in Microsoft Teams
  • Company Policy Notification: COVID-19 – Test & Trace Guidelines
Edited by Jenna Delport
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