E-mail is the most popular way for cyber-criminals to obtain access to your personal information. E-mail phishing is a typical method used by cyber-criminals to trick you into giving them access to your personal information.
These cyber-criminals are after your passwords, sensitive company information, and any other confidential material.
This can look like an urgent e-mail asking you to click a link, or a fraud e-mail impersonating to be another business, usually from companies you trust; such as banks or government officials, that may include a suspicious attachment, with the hopes that you click and download their malware onto your system.
This not only has an impact on your data, but it also has the potential to compromise corporate data and steal important information from your systems.
Here are 6 ways to stay safe from phishing attacks…
- Staying Educated
- Understanding the E-mail
- Anti-Spam E-mail Filters
- Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware software
- Be Alert and Careful of Anything That Doesn’t Feel Right
- Being Aware of your Digital Footprint and Websites You Visit
The rate of phishing hacks is at an all-time high, with an increase of 600% during 2021. (Source: Purplesec)
Cyber-criminals are constantly developing new viruses and attack methods.
DID YOU KNOW?
Up to 560,000 new pieces of malware are produced every day, putting us in greater danger and necessitating increased vigilance when it comes to e-mails. (Source: DataProt)
According to IBM, human error is responsible for 95% of cyber security breaches, therefore keeping staff informed about vulnerabilities should be a top priority. (Source: TheHackerNews)
Companies should educate employees on the dangers of phishing e-mails and how they can harm the company’s brand, as well as the risks to their own information.
System Force I.T. are in the final stages of developing a company-wide spoof phishing system that will check whether your staff click on suspicious links in fake phishing emails. The emails are crafted to look legitimate, and we record who clicks the link (s) to be able to provide helpful insight to users that may require more training.
This helps companies in learning and understanding how their staff react to phishing e-mails, as well as encouraging cyber-awareness within the company.
Understanding the E-mail
There are many differences in phishing e-mails that indicate they are phoney and a fraud.
Here are examples of some of the obvious errors we’ve discovered:
- Spelling errors
- E-mail address and sender name don’t match
- File attachment
- Fake e-mail address
- When hovering over a link, you can see if the link is suspicious.
Here’s how a phishing e-mail attack might look…
This phishing e-mail, for example, may appear authentic at first and worry you, but after thorough examination, you can identify it’s a phishing e-mail.
Starting with the e-mail address, it’s clear that it’s not from a legitimate company, but rather one that was created to seem and represent them.
The second thing you’ll notice is that there’s an attached file that pretends to be an invoice. It’s formatted to look harmless, even if it’s a PDF or JPEG file, so you’ll assume it’s authentic and click it.
However, any file attached to a suspicious e-mail could be harmful, so take extra precautions.
Anti-Spam E-mail Filters
The Barracuda e-mail filter is something we recommend and offer to our clients.
The filter detects potentially suspicious or malware-infected e-mails and prevents you from accidentally clicking on them by not delivering them to your inbox. The Barracuda anti-virus system saves them and scans them to see if they’re safe to access later.
System Force I.T. strongly advises that you use an anti-spam e-mail filter on your workplace e-mails to protect yourself and your employees from phishing cyber-crime.
Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware Software
Anti-virus software is the most common approach for regularly scanning your computer for any dangerous files or viruses.
If you click on a dangerous link by accident, your anti-virus software should detect it and notify you, as well as delete it from your computer.
Anti-virus software’s update its database on a regular basis to keep users secure online, so having it do anti-virus scans on your devices on a regular basis is a sensible move.
Malware is extremely dangerous to a computer system because it replicates quickly, stealing your data and eventually locking you out until you pay a ransom.
“As attackers work to make their phishing attacks more targeted and effective, they’ve started researching potential victims, working to collect information that will help them improve the odds that their attacks will succeed.”I.T. Security Company, Barracuda
System Force I.T. offers both virus protection and malware protection for the complete security package.
Be Alert and Careful of Anything That Doesn’t Feel Right
Are you getting bank requests from people you don’t know or strange money questions that don’t feel right?
This is one of the methods for determining whether an e-mail is legitimate or a fraud.
Amazon and Facebook, for example, would never ask for your password, credit card details, or any other personal information.
If you have received this type of e-mail, it would be best to:
b) to report it to the official business you have received the e-mail from (whether it’s from Amazon or another company)
c) to double-check the security of your own account and change any passwords that may have been compromised.
Being Aware of your Digital Footprint and Websites You Visit
The last method of avoiding phishing scams and viruses is to be careful with the links you click on. Not searching or going onto unpopular or sketchy sites that ask for your email can help a lot in the long run – for your own safety and your device’s safety.
System Force I.T. provides a variety of cybersecurity services, including anti-virus and anti-malware software, firewalls, and custom solutions.
System Force IT provides 24/7 IT support and engineering help with all our services. Our IT infrastructure management team are responsible for the backbone of your business. Monitoring and maintaining both physical and virtual services in real-time.