While some small business owners may believe that data breaches are only a concern for large corporations, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Phishing and other targeted attacks have been increasing among small and medium-size businesses in recent years because they typically have less rigorous cybersecurity than larger corporations. One way to protect your business and your customers’ data from hackers is to make sure your staff is able to identify online phishing techniques.
A government email
Hackers will often try to lure the unsuspecting into infecting their systems with emails that seem official. These are messages that will present themselves as being from a government regulatory agency that will claim a complaint has been filed against your organization and immediate action is required to address it. However, these emails often lack visual credibility. The mail will be from a sender address that is not affiliated with the organization the sender claims.
A media inquiry
Another method hackers use to find a way into a secure data network is by posing as a legitimate news agency. These emails will contain links to news stories about a trending topic that the organization wishes for you or someone in your company to comment upon. However, by following a simple instruction made in this Simply Business post, you can tell whether or not the inquiry is legitimate. If you hover your cursor over the link, its web address should match the details provided. If it does not, more likely than not, following that link will introduce a malicious script or other piece of malware into the target’s network.
An urgent bank email
One of the most commonly used phishing scams in recent years involves hackers pretending to be an individual’s or business’s financial institution. The email will be panicked and claim that the target needs to sign into their account in order to address a possible fraud incident. By doing this, the target gives hackers their user ID and password. One quick way to assess an email’s legitimacy is to look at who the message is addressed to. As Entrepreneur notes, real bank emails aren’t addressed generically.
This article was written by Mario McKellop for Small Business Pulse