Almost weekly, the headlines share another account of a phishing attack on an unknowing victim. This may have you wondering: how can you protect yourself?
At Clarity Technology Group, we are big believers in education and prevention. This guide will share all about phishing and some simple steps to protect yourself against scam emails.
What is Phishing?
We’ve covered it before, but let’s give a quick refresher. Phishing is one of the most common and effective forms of cyberattack.
Hackers often use email to target victims, although phishing can also happen through phone calls, text messages, apps, and social media. On its most basic level, a phishing attack attempts to trick the target into doing what the scammer wants.
A successful phishing attack provides hackers with information from their target’s work or personal accounts, including passwords, financial information, usernames, or other sensitive data.
Examples of a Phishing Email
While there are many types of phishing, the most common is through email, also known as “scam emails.” We’ll focus specifically on examples of phishing (scam) emails for this blog.
7 Signs of a Scam Email
- Urgent action requested: no bank or other company should ask for urgent information over email if you are not expecting it. Always follow up with a phone call before taking action. Look up the phone number on the company website; don’t simply call the number in the signature line of the email.
- Threats made for inaction: if threats are made via email, you can guarantee it’s a scam email.
- Incorrect spelling or grammar: major spelling or grammar errors, including misspelling the name of the company the email claims to come from, can be a telltale sign of a scam email.
- First-time or infrequent senders: if you’ve never received an email from the email address in your inbox, always double-check before taking action. Better safe than sorry!
- Generic greetings: while generic greetings are not always a sign of fraudulent behavior, it’s always best to confirm before opening, clicking, or downloading.
- Suspicious links or unexpected attachments: links and attachments can make it easier for hackers to spread malware. Confirm with the sender via phone call before clicking links or opening attachments that you are not expecting or from a sender you do not know.
- Mismatched email domains: if the email claims to be from Microsoft or your bank, the email should read email@example.com, for example. Emails reading firstname.lastname@example.org but claiming to come from a bank indicate fraudulent behavior. Hover over the email address to see the true address the email is coming from.
How to Protect Yourself Against Scam Emails
While the signs are plentiful, the best way to protect yourself and your employees from phishing emails is through training and education. Teaching staff what to look out for when it comes to scam emails can be a very effective way to protect your organization from malicious attacks. With proper training, employees can quickly report if they spot something suspicious, and cybersecurity teams can intervene proactively.
2. Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)
MFA provides a strong barrier against phishing attacks because it requires an extra step for cyber criminals to overcome to conduct a successful attack. MFA reportedly blocks 99.9% of attempted account hacks. Apply MFA on all accounts possible for all users within your organization.
Phishing Email Protection
At Clarity Technology Group, we provide proactive and personalized solutions to protect your organization from even the simplest of email scams all the way to more high-level ransomware attacks. Our goal is to build a cybersecurity infrastructure that identifies problems while they’re small. To talk with our team about how we can service your company, schedule a free assessment with us.