Look “Phishy?’ Don’t Click!
Whether your employees are returning to the office or continuing to work remotely, IT cyber security has never been a more essential skill to teach them. While many internet security precautions seem like common sense, carving out time to inform your employees of the most prevalent internet threats and providing basic training on how to combat them can save you time, money, and a whole lot of hassle in the future. At Caliber Networks we are able to provide all kinds of safeguards for both personal and workplace systems including data loss protection, cloud backup, disaster recovery, email security services (including email encryption), and 24/7 IT support. We also think it’s essential, however, to educate our clients about ways they can protect themselves and collaborate with us to safeguard their company’s data and information systems.
What is Phishing?
One very common way that hackers attempt to steal data is by “phishing” for your data and that of your employees. This means they prey on users and attempt to trick them into giving up their personal information or other sensitive data. Sometimes they do this by pretending to be someone they’re not. While these internet predators typically “go phishing” through email, they are increasingly using other means such as targeted ads, pop-ups, chat programs, instant messenger apps, and even search results to attempt to get people to click on their bait. This means it has become more dangerous and more difficult for people to discern these phishing schemes from legitimate websites and advertisements. According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, a recent study showed that people in the US lost approximately $57 million to phishing schemes in just one year!
How to Recognize Phishing
By simply informing your employees about what phishing is and explaining the most common ways people are taken advantage of in this way, you will increase their level of awareness, help them stay alert in order to avoid clicking on suspicious links, and encourage them to report anything that looks remotely “phishy” online.
Explaining to your employees commonalities in phishing scheme emails can also help them recognize these phony messages right away. Phishing scams will often look like a company is reaching out to you and telling you a story about a potential threat they may have noticed. They might explain that they’ve noticed suspicious activity coming from your account, that you need to click on a link to pay a fee, update your personal information or payment details, or claim a coupon or “free offer” for something. They may also have a generic greeting without use of your name, though this is not always the case. If the message looks legitimate (as they often do) with logos and company names on the email, give the actual company a call to see if they did indeed send the email. Make sure to avoid any contact information they provide in the phishing email by searching for the actual company’s phone number online.
Protecting Yourself and Your Employees
There are several simple steps that can be taken to protect against phishing, and they are quick and easy enough to be completed during a short staff meeting. First, you’ll want to enable two-factor authentication. This means that on certain sites, such as your bank’s login screen, you’ll have to enter your password plus another form of security like a face scan or a text message code sent to your phone. Next, you should make sure your phone is set to update apps and software automatically, so if there are any security threats or bugs in the system, your phone will be updated immediately. Backing up your data regularly and investing in security software for your company can provide extra protections as well.
If you or your employees do become aware of a phishing attempt or fall victim to one, make sure to report it by emailing the Anti-Phishing Working Group at: firstname.lastname@example.org or, if phishing happened via text message, forward it to SPAM at 7726.
We’re Here to Help!
As always our friendly and knowledgeable IT support specialists at Caliber Networks can assist you with protection against phishing, identity theft, and anything else related to IT cyber security. We are experienced with SIEM, password security systems, and endpoint security as well. We strive to offer exceptional service that has a more personal feel than corporate IT teams such as Geeksquad, while also maintaining competitive pricing.
When you’re looking for IT services in Sacramento or the surrounding foothills or simply need some advice, our experienced IT support providers can recommend the specific types of IT network services that would most benefit your company. We here at Caliber Networks pride ourselves on serving our clients with professionalism and dedication. Give us a call today at (877) 882-2542 to see how we can help you and your business to stay safe and productive online.