Managing cybersecurity concerns should be a top priority for small and large businesses alike. Just like you wouldn’t take the physical security of your workplace for granted, you need to be proactive on how you manage cybersecurity. For experienced cybercriminals, it takes just one loophole to hack a system, device, IT resource, or network. Hackers, of course, rely on a wide range of tactics, including phishing scams. What exactly is phishing? How can you protect your business against phishing scams? In this post, we are discussing the basics.
Understanding phishing attacks
In case of a typical phishing attack, hackers and scammers send emails to people, asking for data, access rights, or sensitive information. For instance, your employee can be tricked into downloading a file, which is promised to be a legitimate free software download, although it is a malware program. Scammers are interested in stealing data, causing malware attacks, or sometimes, they may have ulterior motives, such as using a program to spy on user activities. In short, a phishing attack can be a domino effect on your business.
Steps that can prevent phishing scams
- Let your employees know what phishing attacks are all about. They are often the weakest links that scammers try to exploit.
- There are antimalware and anti-phishing programs available for business use. Consider using one of the trusted ones.
- Recommend a spam filter to your employees, so that phishing emails are detected immediately and spam senders can be spotted.
- Keep an eye on the sender. Phishing emails often come from senders who seem to be authentic. However, you will find grammar and punctuation errors in the sender’s email address or text.
- Watch what the email wants. In most cases of phishing attacks, the scammer wants personal information, and they may either trick the user, or use scare tactics, for the same. Make sure that your employees know when someone is trying to get sensitive data.
- Check for alarming content. Alarming emails – like your business website has been compromised, or an employee email has been hacked, are used extensively for phishing. Show a few examples, so that your employees don’t fall for the trick.
Finally, check for emails that come with a deadline. For instance, your business may get an email for a lottery, which is due, but can be only received when you pay an amount before a deadline. Believe it or not, these lottery scams are still common.