As one of the most prevalent cyber-attacks today, phishing is a process that has the potential to cause huge issues and often harm you and your business. With the number of phishing campaigns increasing over recent years, it’s important to understand the true meaning of phishing, the reason behind the attack, and of course, how it can harm your business.
What is Phishing?
The term ‘phishing’ describes a process that is used to capture valuable, sensitive information through trickery and persuasion. This kind of sensitive information may include important passwords, bank details, usernames and so on. By gaining your trust, disguised as a trusted source, they are then able to access all kinds of accounts, with many individuals not realising the attack has taken place until the damage has been done.
Types of Phishing
Many phishing campaigns have been well thought out, to ensure they look legitimate and trustworthy. You often find that these campaigns are carried out in different ways, including emails, text messages, telephone calls and pop-ups. The most common type of phishing is email, with scam artists devising content that seems to be sent from a legitimate, trusted company. This type of attack works so well due to the number of people who trust the logo they see and instantly fall for the scam.
How to Protect Your Business from Phishing
There are a number of different actions you can take immediately, to help ensure you and your business are less likely to suffer from a phishing attack. Firstly, installing trusted antivirus and malware software is essential. Be sure to make sure the software you are downloading is legitimate and trusted, as this will help to block any potential risk and keep your computer free from viruses.
When it comes to receiving suspicious looking emails, be sure to keep an eye out for spam like messages or certain phrases such as “reset your password” and “verify your account”. These are very common messages to receive from certain company’s, but if you receive this kind of email and haven’t requested to do so before hand, then this should raise an alarm and not be acted upon.
The majority of phishing emails will contain dangerous links that link to completely different sites to the one you are intending to go to. You often find that the links will include a different company name, site URL and even misspellings, which is a huge giveaway that the email is not legit. You would not find a trusted company directing you to a separate site, just as they would always ensure spellings are correct.
If you feel your email is spam or untrustworthy:
· Do not click on the links included in the content
· Do not open attachments of any kind
· Contact the official company mentioned in the email to see if the email is legitimate. If they cannot validate the email, this will have raised the issue and brought the phishing attack to their attention, they can then take further action to put a stop to the scam and protect other businesses too.