Scammers use email or malicious websites to collect personal information by convincing people to enter information. This process is called phishing. Phishing scams can be difficult to spot because scammers are constantly changing the design of their emails to make them look more legitimate.
How can you spot a phishing email?
There are some things to look for that can help you spot a phishing email:
- The sender’s email address does not match the name of the company they are claiming to represent.
- The email has poor grammar and spelling mistakes.
- The email is a generic message that could have been sent to anyone, rather than being addressed specifically to you.
- The email contains attachments or links that you were not expecting.
What should you do if you receive a phishing email?
If you receive a phishing email, do not click on any links or open any attachments. Do not reply to the email either. Instead, forward the email to your company’s information technology (IT) department or the abuse address for the company that the email claims to be from. You can also report phishing emails to the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/complaint.
What to do if you responded to a phishing email?
If you think you might have responded to a phishing email, take these steps right away:
- Change your passwords – Use a different password for each account, and make sure they are strong passwords. A strong password is at least eight characters long and includes a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
- Check your accounts – Log into your accounts to see if there has been any unusual activity. If you see anything that you don’t recognize, report it to the company immediately.
- Watch for red flags – Be on the lookout for signs that your identity has been stolen, such as unexpected bills or calls from collection agencies.
- Monitor your credit report – You are entitled to a free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus every year. Check your reports regularly to make sure there is no fraudulent activity.
How To Prevent Phishing Attacks
There are some things you can do to help prevent phishing attacks:
- Keep your software up to date – Install security updates as soon as they are available. These updates often include protections against the latest threats.
- Use strong passwords – As mentioned above, a strong password is at least eight characters long and includes a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
- Don’t click on links in email messages – If you’re not sure if an email is legitimate, don’t click on any links. Instead, type the URL for the website into your browser to be sure you are going to the right place.
- Don’t open email attachments from people you don’t know – These attachments could contain malware that would infect your computer.
- Be cautious of public Wi-Fi – When you are using public Wi-Fi, be aware that someone could be eavesdropping on your traffic. Avoid logging into sensitive accounts while using public Wi-Fi.
Managed IT Services and Phishing Prevention
One of the best ways to protect your business from phishing attacks is to partner with an managed IT services provider. An managed IT services provider can help you keep your software up to date and can provide other cybersecurity protections, such as firewalls and intrusion detection systems. Managed IT services can also help you train your employees on how to spot phishing scams and what to do if they think they have received one. Don’t wait until it’s too late – contact an managed IT services provider today to get started!