Cyber Security 101: How to Spot a Phish
One of the best defense strategies against cyber security attacks is knowing what they look like. One type of attack is an email phishing attack, which can affect anyone with email access. Not only is important for you to be aware of what a phishing attack is, it’s also critical to educate others within your organization what it is. If you deal with emails on a regular or even semi-regular basis, it’s possible to fall victim to a cyber security attack. Here, we will discuss what a phish is and how to spot one.
What’s an Email Phishing Attack?
A phishing email compromises cyber security because the hacker will try to direct you to a seemingly legitimate website to get you to share sensitive information, such as credit card numbers, bank accounts, and social security information. Or, the phish will get you to click on an attachment to download vicious malware. These emails are the “bait” that get trick you into giving out sensitive material. Don’t eat the bait!
Who is Prone to Attacks?
While anyone can fall victim to an attack, small businesses are often a good target for these types of cyber security threats. Why? One reason is because many small businesses don’t have company emails, making them easier targets. They might not have professional cyber security software and aren’t the most likely to be trained in detecting threats. No matter how big or small your organization is, phishing is something to be aware of and have a plan of action against in case it ever happens to you or an employee.
Catching a Phish
Now that you know what a phish is, you can begin to learn how to catch one, instead of being caught. Like we said earlier, phishing emails can be rather convincing, especially if you don’t know what to look for.
Phishers can send documents, links, or requests that look like something you might actually expect to receive. For example, a phish can disguise itself to look like it was sent from your HR department and request personal information. To spot a phish in this situation, check who the email was from. Most phishing emails won’t look legitimate. Also, if you’re being asked for sensitive information in an email, that should raise a red flag. Most companies won’t ask you for that information over an email because it can be hacked into.
Sometimes it is easy to spot phish emails because of the diction used. They can say things like “Action required now!” or even “Your account has been hacked” in order to get your attention! They do this because it’s a sure way to grab someone’s attention! Look out for misspellings and improper grammar. If you’re unsure about the email, contact the company it claims to be from. Phone calls are a safer bet than replying to an email or clicking on a link.
What to Do if You Receive a Phish
You’ve probably already figured out that if you receive a phishing email, you shouldn’t click on it or respond to it. You don’t have to do much else. Delete the email, don’t download attachments, and if possible, report the email to your company’s IT department.
Managing Cyber Security
In a world that increasingly relies on technology to conduct business, cyber security is more important than ever. To ensure the protection of private business and personal information, make sure everyone in your organization knows what to look for when it comes to a phishing attack.