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How To Spot a Phishing Attempt

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How To Spot a Phishing Attempt

Since email is such a huge part of doing business, scammers love to phish. To fight back, you need to be able to recognize a phishing email, so we’re dedicating this week’s tip to that.

What is Phishing?

Phishing goes beyond email. It’s actually any digital attempt to trick you into revealing information about your business or personal accounts, like the password you use for your online banking, or your business’ client and personnel files.

As social media is now such a big part of business and personal life, phishers will also pose as people you know and message you to try to extract information. Others will even pose as bank personnel on the phone, hoping you will simply hand over the information they want.

There are even different types of phishing. Attacks that are customized to one particular person are called “spear” phishing attacks, while those that target the CEO of a company are called “whaling.”

Spotting Phishing

Fortunately, as elaborate as phishing scams are getting, there are warning signs. Here are a few things to look out for:

Unprofessionally Written?

Does the message read like something written by a professional? Not just a typo, but the tone of the message as a whole. If not, the message may not be legitimate.

Trying to Make You Panic?

A phishing message could say, basically: “You have an immediate issue with (something) so we need you to confirm your access credentials so that this immediate issue can be resolved. Otherwise, there will be huge consequences.” This type of message goes for your fear reaction, urging quick action, and using very definitive and final terms. Does the message suddenly alert you to a terrible issue that only the sender can protect you from? It could be a scam.

A Little Strange?

If you suddenly get a message on social media from someone whom you really don’t talk to, it’s a little weird, right? The same goes for your business communications… why would this supposed sender be contacting you now? Does it even sound like that person?

Protecting Your Assets

Here are a few simple ways to frustrate phishing attempts.

  • • Use a spam blocking solution to reduce the number of phishing messages that get through. While some will still get through, plenty of scammers will be stopped automatically.
  • • Make sure your employees are trained to spot and properly handle phishing attempts.

At Quikteks, we know the importance of secure workplace practices. If you’d like to learn more about protecting your business from phishing and other malicious attacks, reach out to us at (973) 882-4644. We can help.

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