People fall prey to phishing attacks every day. They’re difficult to prevent, partly because a lot of employees aren’t aware of the warning signs and the risk of malware infection that they pose. Your staff are a key resource in keeping your network and data safe, and knowing what to look for can be an important defense against cybercriminals. Here’s a short guide to what phishing attacks look like.
Phishing is a favorite scam carried out by online fraudsters. It can be used to steal data, obtain confidential information or gain access to an organization’s network. How do they do this? A message will be sent to a member of your staff, designed to persuade them to engage and reveal the information the scammers want. It’s a lot harder these days for cybercriminals to breach security protections, as developers have stepped up to the challenge of keeping them out. Scams such as phishing attacks rely instead on conning people into revealing crucial information that will allow them to access systems or commit other online fraud. It’s much easier to fool someone into revealing a password than to crack a password remotely, for example.
Traditionally, most phishing attacks have been perpetrated by means of email, though other means are also used: SMS messages with malware-infected links, online forms and even phone calls. It’s important that your staff not only recognize the threat that emails may cause, but also issues with other types of communication. Any suspicious messages should immediately be reported and acted upon to neutralize the security risk.
Cybercriminals work hard to make their fake messages seem authentic, but there are often tell-tale signs that something is wrong.
The ‘best’ (or worst) phishing attacks don’t raise suspicions but often the warning signs are there. All computer users should be alert to the warning signs, and to err on the side of caution if anything seems odd. The consequences of thinking ‘Oh, it’s probably fine’ could be devastating.
Our IT experts at Quikteks can help you protect your business from phishing attacks. For help and advice on this and other tech security problems, call us at (973) 882-4644.