5 Things You Can Do to Prevent Phishing Scams at Work
Over the last few years, phishing attacks on businesses have skyrocketed — largely due to cyber attacks on employees. Find out how to prevent scams at work.
Phishing attacks on businesses are on the rise: the FBI reports that businesses worldwide have lost more than $5 billion over the last several years because of this trend. Hackers are typically able to gain access to a business’ computer system through their employees, by targeting individuals with social engineering scams through phishing or by collecting personal information from their social media profiles. You can use the Anti-Hacking feature to block phishing attempts on your work phone:
- Follow the Strong Passwords and Use Two-Factor Authentication Rule
Your IT department will prompt you to create strong passwords and use two-factor authentication for your professional accounts. Don’t ignore this request, as this is how many companies are breached — employees who ignore this or put it on a to-do list but don’t follow through. Strong passwords are long passwords with lowercase and uppercase letters, symbols, and numbers. Also, apply the same rule to your personal accounts.
- Be Wary of What You Send Via Email
Email is not a secure form of communication for many reasons, one being that it’s easy to intercept emails. Don’t send any personal information via email or email forms (such as passwords or your Social Security number).
- Be Suspicious of Unsolicited Emails and Phone Calls
Some unsolicited emails and phone calls are legitimate — but many are not. Many phishing scams are designed to prey on your emotions, and get you to respond with personal information or click on a link out of fear. This approach works, too: it is often most successful when the targeted individual is experiencing personal trouble or hardship, which the hacker can gather from stalking the victim’s social media profiles.
- Be Skeptical of Emails From Trusted Sources
You should be skeptical of all emails you receive — even if they’re seemingly from a friend, coworker, or your bank. Phishing scams are getting cleverer by the day, and many scammers are able to spoof emails from people you know or else compromise a known, trusted email address. If the language in the email feels “off” or strange — and if that language is accompanied by a link, attachment, or a request for personal information — ask yourself if the email seems legitimate. If you have doubts, reach out to the sender by another form of communication and ask if they sent the email. If you’re at work, alert your IT support department right away.
- Don’t Mix Business With Pleasure
Be cautious about what you post on social media, especially when it comes to information related to your job. Hackers are more frequently targeting employees’ social media profiles in order to collect personal information that could provide answers to job-related security questions or passwords.