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Don’t Take the Bait! How to avoid falling victim to phishing scams.

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Phishing attacks have become increasingly sophisticated in recent years.  They are one of the oldest types of cyber-attacks and is still widely used today.  The results can be disastrous for both individuals and companies.  Stealing of corporate funds, identity theft, and unauthorized purchases can all be accomplished through phishing.

What is phishing?

Phishing is a cybercrime in which a target or targets are contacted by email, telephone or text message by someone posing as a legitimate institution to lure individuals or businesses into providing sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, banking and credit card details, and passwords.

How to spot phishing emails.

Phishing emails often look completely legitimate.  It can be hard to tell the difference from verified emails.  Here are a few things that occur regularly in phishing emails that you can look out for.

  1. Poorly written messages or misspellings of common words, including your name.
  2. Requesting sensitive information via email.
  3. Non-https hyperlinks or hyperlinks that do not match the context of the email.
  4. Suspicious attachments.
  5. Message that requires urgency to respond or creates panic.
Most common subject lines of phishing emails

How to identify possible phishing emails.

If you suspect that an email is actually a scam, there are a few things you can do to try to determine if the email is fraudulent.

  1. Always check the spelling of the URLs in email links before you click or enter sensitive information.
  2. If there is a link in an email, hover over the URL first. Secure websites with a valid Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate begin with “https”.
  3. Remember that banks and other legitimate financial institutions will not ask for sensitive information through email. 
  4. You can always contact a sender to confirm legitimacy before offering up and important information or data.

How to protect yourself against phishing emails.

While spam filters may help to keep phishing emails from ever reaching your inbox, you may want to consider extra protection.

  1. Security software can protect your computer from threats. 
  2. Enable multi-factor authentication whenever necessary to help protect your accounts.
  3. Be sure to always back up your data.

Allegro Consultants can help you assess your level of risk when it comes to a breach of your critical business systems.  If you would like to know more about how you can protect your business from scams such as phishing, ransomware, and others; contact us today.