November 20th – 26th is International Fraud Awareness Week. We decided to take advantage of this opportunity to provide you with a few simple tips to help you and your business avoid falling victim to a phishing scam. As these emails become more sophisticated, knowing how to spot them is critical. Each year, phishing scams cost businesses billions of dollars worldwide.
- Tip #1 – Don’t Trust The Display Name. Spoofing is a popular tactic among cybercriminals, which means that just because the sender of an email appears to be, for example, your bank, there is no guarantee that’s actually who the message is from. Always check that the email address matches up. If the domain seems off, don’t open the email.
- Tip #2 – Hover Before You Click. Any time you receive an email with a link embedded, hover your mouse over the link before you click on it. The hyperlink may be telling you one thing, but the actual link may be something else entirely. Once again, if what you’re seeing seems off, don’t open the link.
- Tip #3 – Don’t Respond With Personal Information. A financial institution or other reputable corporation will NEVER ask you to provide or verify personal information or login credentials via email. If you receive an email requesting any of this information, do not respond.
- Tip #4 – Check The Signature. Companies will always provide contact information as part of their email signature. If this information is missing, odds are whoever has reached out to you is not who they claim to be.
- Tip #5 – Don’t Get Riled Up By Subject Line Scare Tactics. A hacker trying to trick you into handing over personal or financial data will often try to make you panic by including phrasing like “your account has been suspended” or “your account has been compromised” in the subject line or header. Take a moment to run through the previous tips before you respond.
Cybercriminals are growing bolder and more savvy, making it difficult for antivirus software and spam filters to catch malicious emails before they hit your inbox. Knowing how to spot phishing tactics is your business’ last line of defence against theft and fraud.