Ph i sh · i n g
The fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers.
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You may have heard of the fake ‘Nigerian Prince’ email that has been around for decades, but what about the new ‘Social Media Friend Request’ scam? Phishing is not a new concept, but as technology becomes smarter so are scammers. Since the dawn of email, people have been using it as a catalyst to steal information and money from unsuspecting victims. Today, the average cost of a phishing attack for mid-size companies is around $1.6 million. Don’t get hooked, here are a few IT trusted tips on how to keep your business and personal information safe in an ever-evolving world of phishing scams.
Question Unknown Senders
This one may be obvious, but you should always be skeptical of emails sent by someone you don’t know. If you are receiving emails from an unknown source, it is best to proceed with caution.
Unexpected emails with generic subject lines or vague information can potentially be malicious and should be approached with caution.
Watch Where You Click
You probably get emails containing links and attachments all the time. But if you don’t know the sender, the email could include malicious attachments, PDFs or links that could potentially hack your email or collect your personal information.
Trust No One
Even emails that look like they come from trusted contacts could be compromised by scammers. If you think something looks off, ask yourself a couple of questions before proceeding.
● Is there a signature in the email? Emails without signatures generally mean that person is sending the email is a victim to a man-in-the-middle attack. And that their email is being utilized maliciously.
● Does it sound like this person? After corresponding with someone multiple times, you may pick up on the way they format emails or use the same phrases. If an email uses out of character phrases such as ‘kindly’ instead of the generic ‘please’, or they sign the email in a different way, this could be a phisher.
● Would they normally request this information? If someone is requesting information they wouldn’t normally in an email or you haven’t previously spoken in detail about this request before, it may be a scam.
● Is their information correct? Double check the email attached to the name. Often times the name may be that of the coworker but the email is slightly different or from a generic email such as Yahoo or Gmail.
Ask For Help
Having issues with people outside your organization spoofing your email address and emailing coworkers? IT can add Transport rules and append messages to e-mails at the O365/Exhchange level to note that the email comes from outside your organization and to proceed with caution.
Even if you’re cautious, phishers can still steal your information and cost you money. It is important to stay up to date on ways to protect yourself and your company. Besides knowing the signs, the best way to stay protected from scammers is to utilize managed IT services like ones offered from AIS. We can help your company stay informed and protected from phishers, contact us today!
Guest Post by Steve Summerville
AIS is an IT Managed Services Company that focuses primarily on Desktop Support, Wireless Communications and Cyber Security. Steve offers comprehensive IT support, first through understanding and then through establishment of a focused mixture of the best people, processes and technology.
Visit the AIS website for more information.