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Why Do Criminals Use A Phishing Attack?

Astute criminals have uncovered the easiest way to hack into an organization.

Whenever they want to infect a computer or gain access to important information like account numbers, passwords, or PIN numbers, all they have to do is ask.

Why Do Criminals Use A Phishing Attack?

Astute criminals have uncovered the easiest way to hack into an organization.

Whenever they want to infect a computer or gain access to important information like account numbers, passwords, or PIN numbers, all they have to do is ask.

How Does A Phishing Attack Start?

A phishing attack usually starts with the criminal coming right out and messaging you.

They may give you a phone call, an email, an instant message, or an SMS.

They could claim to be someone who is working for a bank, another company you do business with, a government agency, or even pretending to be someone in your own organization.

A phishing email might ask you to click on a link or download and execute a file.

You may think it’s a legitimate message, click the link inside their message, and log in to what appears to be the website from the organization you trust.

At this point the phishing scam is complete.

You’ve handed over your private information to the criminal.

How To Prevent A Phishing Attack

The main key to avoid this is awareness.

At first glance, the message or the website might look real using a known logo layout, etc.

Lucky for you, detecting phishing attacks is not so difficult.

Remember to look at the website address where you’re redirected.

To be safe, you should type the address of the organization you want to visit in the browser or use browser favorites.

Watch out for links that when hovered over show a domain that is not the same as the company sending the email.

Read the content of the message carefully, and be skeptical of all messages asking you to submit your private data or verify information, fill out forms, or download and run files.

Also, don’t let the content of the message fool you.

Attackers often try to scare you to get you to click on a link or reward you to get your personal data.

Also, check for bad spelling or grammar errors in the email message or website.

Companies will not usually ask you to send sensitive data via web or mail.

That’s why you should never click on suspicious links or provide any sort of sensitive data.

What Do I Do If I Receive A Phishing Email?

If you receive a message that appears like a phishing attack, you have three options.

  1. You can delete it
  1. Verify the messages’ content by contacting the organization through its traditional channel of communication.
  1. You can forward the message to your IT security department for further analysis.

The fact is that your company should already be screening and filtering the majority of suspicious emails.

Unfortunately, phishing scams are a growing threat on the internet and the bad guys are always developing new tactics to get through to your inbox.

Keep in mind that in the end, you’re the last and most important layer of defense against phishing attempts.

How To Stop A Phishing Attack Before It Happens

Since phishing attacks rely on human error to be effective, the best option is to train people in your business on how to avoid taking the bait.

This doesn’t mean that you have to have a big meeting or seminar on how to avoid a phishing attack.

There are better ways to find gaps in your security and improve your human response to phishing.

2 Steps You Can Take To Prevent A Phishing Scam

Step 1. Use A Phishing Simulator

What does that mean?

It means that you can use software to send fake phishing emails to everyone in your network.

After the software sends these fake emails, it will show you the vulnerable people in your organization.

Rather than scolding them for falling into a trap, the best way to handle the situation is to provide security awareness training.

Step 2. Security Awareness Training

A key benefit of giving employees security awareness training is protecting them from identity and bank theft.

Security awareness training is essential to improve employee’s ability to spot phishing attempts.

Courses can help train staff to detect phishing attempts, but only a few focus on small businesses.

It can be tempting for you as a small business owner to cut the costs of a course by sending some youtube videos about security awareness…

but staff rarely remember that type of training for more than a few days.

Hailbytes has a course that has a combination of quick videos and quizzes so you can track your employees’ progress, prove that security measures are in place, and massively cut your chances of suffering a phishing scam.

If you have questions, or you want phishing simulations or security awareness training courses, feel free to reach out to Hailbytes here!

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