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How to Spot Three Forms of Phishing Attacks

How to Spot Three Forms of Phishing Attacks

One of the crazy things about hackers is that they will do whatever it takes to ensure that they steal as much information and sensitive data as possible. One of the more innovative ways that hackers spread threats is through spam. Unwanted messages have grown from simple annoyances, to the spread of unwanted software and malware, all the way to sophisticated attacks on targeted individuals known as phishing attacks. Do you have ways to secure your business?

Phishing attacks come in various shapes and forms. Here are some of the most common ways that hackers will use elaborate phishing attacks to scam your business, including phone calls, normal emails, and social media.

Phishing Calls
If you receive calls from strange numbers that don’t leave messages, there’s a solid chance that you could be the target of a phishing call. These messages are designed to target specific employees within your organization to coax information out of them. They might try to be from IT support to steal a printer model number, or perhaps they are hoping to steal usernames and passwords. Either way, the point stands that your organization contains lots of information that a scammer finds helpful.

It’s incredibly important that you teach your employees to know the difference between a fake phone call and a real one. Put them through the ringer when they call and try to guarantee their authenticity (or lack thereof). You should always cross-check contact information before giving up any information to anyone. When in doubt, simply don’t give away anything important.

Phishing Emails
While a phishing phone call will be pressuring your staff to make an immediate decision, a phishing email will likely give you more time to decide if you want to hand over information or commit to a decision. Tailor-made and customized phishing messages have risen in popularity with the intention of stealing specific information from a specific user. Often times, phishing emails will convince the user to click on a malicious link or download an attachment.

Implementing a spam filter and employee training exercises can go a long way to secure your company from phishing attacks. However, it’s still important to be able to identify the throwaway signs of spam and phishing. You should look for spelling errors or incorrect grammar, falsified information, and just about anything else that doesn’t necessarily belong. Still, phishing messages have become more elaborate than ever before, so make sure to consult security professionals if you truly can’t tell the difference between a real and fake message.

Phishing Accounts
It’s easy to use social media for bad purposes. Hackers can use them to attack their targets through the identity of someone else. A hacker can take on any identity they want, which makes phishing accounts even more difficult to identify--particularly if they have taken the identity of someone you might know. In general, just try to avoid messages that come out of the blue, and use your previous interactions with the sender to see if they are (or aren’t) who they claim to be.

Overall, just ensure that you approach potential phishing incidents with skepticism. It’s the best way to make sure that your business doesn’t fall to spam and phishing attacks. To learn more about how you can secure your company, reach out to us at (858) 509-1970.

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