A few years ago, when someone said they were going “fishing,” they meant they were taking their pole and bait and hitting the nearest stream to cast their line.
In today’s society, the phrase has taken on a more ominous connotation. Internet scammers have learned to play the ultimate game of catch and release — phishing. Learn who is emailing your employees, and how to avoid phishing scams against sneaky cyber attacks.
Know The Facts
You are probably aware of some phishing attacks that have hit major national corporations, but did you know that over 40 percent of attacks target smaller businesses? Organizations containing 11-100 employees rank high among hackers’ target lists, and with 70 percent of employees accessing confidential work-related material through their smart phones, hackers now have more “phishing locations” than ever before.
Recognize The Game
What does phishing look like? It looks a lot like the ordinary, everyday emails you are used to receiving.
You might receive one that mirrors your go-to online shopping site, urging you to update your payment information, which will allow scammers to gather personal financial information. Or, you might get one disguised as what appears to be a legitimate business corporation asking you to take certain steps which will allow the hackers to access your company’s personal files.
Seeing a pattern here? Hackers know to use content that appeals to you, and appears legitimate at first glance when trying to breach your data.
So, how can you tell what’s real and what’s a scam?
Protect Your Business’ Information
Your IT department can only do so much when it comes to protecting your employees from phishing disasters. Ultimately, making sure your company’s information stays safe and within your building’s four walls relies on your team’s ability to discern and delete harmful phishing messages.
Scammers tend to be sloppy when it comes to the delivery of their content. You can often spot a phishing email by one or more of these clues:
- The sender’s email address isn’t already in, or recognized by, your email account. In other words, it seems suspicious to you.
- The body content of the email itself contains spelling errors or spacing issues that would not be characteristic of a reputable source.
- A warning message pops up, alerting you to the fact that the content contained in the message is not protected and may be harmful.
Discuss the dangers and signs of phishing attacks with your employees and ask that they don’t open any suspicious links from outside senders without first consulting with the IT department.
Taking time to educate your employees on the dangers of phishing, and what they should do in the event of a phishing attempt, can prevent your company’s reputation from being tarnished and valuable data from being stolen.
Take the Test
Are you ready to test your phishing knowledge? Take our free online assessment test now and become one step closer to protecting your company from hackers.