Cyber Security Awareness Month – Phishing

Cyber scams are increasing every month and the techniques used are becoming more advanced. Phishing is one of the oldest and most common attacks used today. These schemes typically come by email, disguised as a trusted individual or entity. Some scams target specific victims through online tracking, such as CEOs and important company board members, while others are targeted randomly by spamming millions of people. The scammers know how to build trust with their victims, making it easy to get personal information and, many times, large sums of money. Once a cyber criminal successfully phishes sensitive information from a prospect, that information is used to steal more data or money. Offenders use different methods to manipulate their victims such as instilling trust and confidence, or even by threatening or verbally abusing their targets. Often these deceptive emails are meant to trick the user into going to fake versions of popular websites which have infected links embedded with malware, thus giving the hacker access to the victim’s account. Fortunately, there are ways to protect your network and avoid malicious schemes.

• Don’t open suspicious emails or messages from unfamiliar sources.
• Be especially cautious of emails with link requests.
• Don’t give out passwords online. Reputable companies don’t ask for passwords in an email.
• Educate your employees on security awareness.
• Know that sites which have names beginning with IP addresses are often fraudulent.
• Always be cautious when surfing the Web. Careless Internet browsing can be dangerous.
• Use two-factor authentication whenever possible.

Scams can be very costly, and your business or personal information can be deeply damaged by these breaches. Take the right steps to protect yourself.