Summer comes with a variety of awesome activities – beach, travel, festivals, and concerts – to name a few. People are letting their hair down to participate in the events that have been missed over the past two years. However, as flights get delayed, internet and mobile services get interrupted, and more time is spent connected to unprotected Wi-Fi, we need to be on the alert when it comes to cybersecurity. Fraudulent online activity can occur in several ways. We covered password theft and protection here. Today, let’s dive into the world of phishing.
What is phishing?
Phishing is a social engineering attack. It is the main fraudulent method used to acquire personal information about individuals or businesses. This is often conducted via emails that usually contain malicious links, attachments, or urgent requests. The attacker reaches out to the victim for information such as sensitive data, financial information, passwords, system credentials, phone numbers, and more.
If you’re thinking – Hey, I could never fall for that! I can smell a scam from a mile away – well, think again! Cybercriminals are fast mastering the art of online impersonation. Therefore, these scam emails could appear as though they come from a person or a business that you might know.
How do I spot a phishing email?
- Ask yourself a few questions:
- Do I know this person/company?
- Do I have an account with this company?
- Is this an email I was expecting from them?
- Are they asking for personal/confidential information?
- If it’s coming from someone that you may know, check that their name and email address are spelt correctly.
- Look for grammatical errors in your name, the sender’s name, the company name, and the body of the email.
- Do not click on any links! Instead, visit the website directly.
- Do not download any attachments!
- If the email has a tone of urgency (Apply NOW, URGENT, Account will be closed!), type in the company’s website on google and chat with their customer service team.
- Never directly reply to a suspicious-looking email. Instead, if the email looks like it comes from someone you know, open a new email window, type in the person’s email address and ask them to verify that they had indeed sent you a previous email with attachments, links, or asking for other information.
One click on a malicious link is all the cybercriminal requires to gain entry and cause irrefutable damage putting your business and your clients’ data at risk. As we put on our hats, sunglasses, and apply sunscreen to protect ourselves from the hot summer sun, we also need to remain vigilant about cybersecurity. Be cautious of too-good-to-be-true deals – flights, streaming services, e-commerce platforms, and others. Stay safe!
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