What is phishing?
Phishing is a type of cyber attack that uses fraudulent emails or websites to trick users into divulging personal information, such as passwords or credit card numbers. Hackers can then use this information to gain access to sensitive data or commit identity theft.
Businesses are increasingly being targeted by phishers. In fact, nearly 75% of organizations worldwide experienced phishing attacks in 2018 alone.
What makes phishing emails so effective?
One of the reasons phishing emails are so successful is because they often imitate well-known brands or companies. This can make it difficult for users to tell whether an email is legitimate or not. Hackers will also use urgent language or intimidating tactics to try and get recipients to act quickly without thinking.
What should you look for in a phishing email?
There are several red flags that can indicate an email is part of a phishing scam. These include:
- An unrecognizable sender address: Most legitimate companies will use their own domain name in their email addresses (e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org). If you receive an email from an address that doesn’t contain a recognizable domain name, this is a cause for suspicion.
- Misspellings and grammatical errors: Many phishing emails are created in a hurry and often contain typos or poor grammar. This is another red flag to watch out for.
- A sense of urgency: Phishers will often try to create a sense of urgency in their emails to get recipients to act quickly without thinking. They may use language such as “time is running out” or “act now before it’s too late.”
- A generic greeting: Many phishing emails will use a generic greeting such as “Dear Sir/Madam” rather than addressing the recipient by name. This is another sign that the email may not be legitimate.
- Asking for personal information: Legitimate companies should already have most of your personal information on file and will never ask you to confirm it via email. If an email asks you to do this, it’s likely a phishing scam.
How can you protect your business from phishing attacks?
There are several steps you can take to protect your business from phishing scams, including:
- Using anti-phishing software: Anti-phishing software can help to identify and block phishing emails before they reach your inbox. This can be an effective way to protect your business from these types of attacks. If you’re not sure which software to use, you can ask a cybersecurity provider for recommendations.
- Educating your employees: One of the best ways to protect your business from phishing attacks is to educate your employees about the signs of a phishing email. Make sure they know not to open attachments or click on links from unrecognizable senders.
- Backing up data: In the event that your business does fall victim to a phishing attack, it’s important to have backup copies of all important data. This will help to ensure that you can quickly recover any information that may have been lost or stolen.
Phishing attacks are becoming more common and more sophisticated. By knowing what to look for, you can help to protect your business from these types of scams.