Since the inception of the internet and email, it seems there have always been phishing scams. They are a global threat to all businesses that utilize the internet for any reason. Within recent years, these scams have increased significantly, and they continue to victimize people around the world every day. You might be wondering, how does a phishing scam work?
A phishing scam involves sending a fraudulent link to an individual with the primary purpose of installing malware or deceptively retrieving sensitive information, such as passwords, banking information, or social security numbers.
Phishing costs businesses billions of dollars in losses. As a managed IT service provider, Iron Dome has the technical expertise to aid your business in the prevention and recovery from a phishing scam. We use the most powerful applications to keep your data safe. Phishing scams are very profitable. They have cost many businesses millions of dollars. According to a report released on July 12, 2018 by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, business email losses are in the billions. This is probably why the phishing scam is one of the most popular internet scams today because it’s a fast way for cybercriminals to obtain money.
How Can You Avoid Being a Phishing Victim?
Here are some of the steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim.
Don’t Download Files from Unknown Users
If you receive an email from an unknown user, don’t click on any links or download any files attached to that email. For some people, this may seem obvious, but thousands of people accidentally click or download infected files every year. Even if the link is from a known party, go to the company’s website instead of attempting to access it from the email. Sometimes cybercriminals will use emails and websites that are cloned versions of the actual business website. If you’re not paying close attention to what you are doing, you can be scammed. You also want to look at the website’s URL address. Hover over it to confirm that it’s the company’s domain name.
Don’t Trust the Display Name
Even if you receive a familiar email, be cautious. A common phishing tactic is spoofing the email’s display name. Unfortunately, some email providers will only display the sender’s name but not the email address. If the email address does not coincide with the name of the sending party, flag it. However, this is not a full-proof indicator that it’s a scam, for any email address can be spoofed.
Install and Maintain Security Software
All of your computers should have a security solution installed on them. It should include at minimum an anti-virus application, firewall, and email filter. The anti-virus application is responsible for preventing viruses, phishing attacks, spyware, rootkits, malware, trojans, and other cyber threats. Maintaining the software is equally important as installing it, for recent updates offer the highest level of protection. Therefore, when you receive security updates, you want to install them immediately.
Educate Your Employees and Bring Awareness
Often employees are not aware of how businesses are targeted. By simply keeping your employees aware of the latest security attacks, you can possibly avoid any future data or financial losses. According to Symantec’s 2018 Internet Security Threat Report, over 50% of email is spam. What’s even worst is that their data shows the average individual receives 16 malicious spam emails per month. With just 10 employees, this would equate to 160 emails per month.
Be Cautious of the Urgency
Be cautious of any email that you receive that expresses an urgency to do something. You may receive an email indicating that there is a problem with your bank account, and you need to log into your account to correct the problem. This is a common tactic used to quickly gain access to your personal information.
Identify Possible Threats
Verify the website’s security before sending sensitive information over the internet. Some ways of analyzing the safety of a website include the following:
• Look for the “S” in https. This indicates that the site has an SSL certificate, which encrypts sensitive information. Without it, cybercriminals are exposed to the information that you enter
• Look for contact information. Many website visitors feel uncomfortable doing business with a website that does not have a phone number or physical address. Ideally, most legitimate businesses will have visible contact information
• Look for key indicators of possible malware. Some key indicators include suspicious pop-ups, ads with improper spelling or grammar, and search engine warnings.
The internet is an amazing tool and you can use it for many things. Like anything else in life, it comes with a dark side. When it comes to your business, be very cautious about releasing any information online. Only transact business on trusted websites that you know are legitimate.
Need Help Avoiding or Recovering from a Phishing Attack
Should your company become the victim of a cyberattack, Iron Dome specialises in disaster recovery, and we can help you recover any lost data.
Contact us today at 0203 358 0203 to learn more about our services and avoiding cyberattacks.