How carefully do you look at an email before you open it? Many people don’t think a simple email is risky, which is why phishing scams are so effective. Before an email compromises your network, teach all your employees to look for the signs of a phishing scam.
Check the email address
Phishing scams typically forge an email address of a trusted party. This could be an outside third party or someone from your own company. However, there are some telltale signs that can help identify these illegitimate emails:
- Wrong domain name – If you look carefully, you may see extra punctuation (such as fed-ex.com vs. fedex.com), numbers, or other information indicating the email isn’t correct.
- Mismatched name – If the name of the sender doesn’t align with the email address, you should be suspicious.
- Not using your name – Trusted parties will often address you by name in the opening.
Some phishing scams are so sophisticated you may not notice anything wrong with the email address, so you must look for other signs.
Phishing scams often try to create a sense of urgency so you respond to the email without taking the time to verify it. For example, a request from the CEO or CFO of your company is likely to make you provide the information as fast as possible – which may compromise your network if it is a phishing scam.
One way to reduce this problem is to establish a company policy that stipulates that urgent requests will not take place over email. However, if this is not a viable solution, you should have a way to verify these requests, such as by phone. Putting these policies in place may save your company thousands.
Whenever there is a link within your email, you need to be suspicious. A malicious link could take you to an infected website that downloads malware to infect your computer and your network. Before you click, you should:
- Hover over the link to see where it is taking you.
- Type in the URL yourself or search for the website on Google.
- Use your own trusted bookmarks whenever possible.
These steps may help you avoid clicking on a malicious link.
Phishing scams are a popular and effective means of stealing data and gaining access to secure networks. Training all employees about phishing scams will help reduce your risk of becoming a victim. Want to learn more? Contact us today to learn more about keeping your data safe and secure.