The internet is a tool that revolutionized our entire world. It has changed how we interact with each other, how we receive entertainment, how we buy things, and how businesses run. It is nearly impossible to stay off of the internet if you want to run a productive and modern business. It is regrettable that the internet comes with so many inherent risks. Some hazards will pursue even the most cautious of us, and there are times when we all need aid from the experts.

What is a Phishing Attack?

There are whole specialties now dedicated to learning about the different dangers and threats out there on the web. A phishing scam is a specific type of targeted messaging attack that focuses on gaining access to your most sensitive information. These phishing attempts are typically made through emails, text messages, or even phone calls. Someone will pose as a legitimate institution or trustworthy person.

They will request personal information like account numbers like credit card data or personal identification. This exposure will risk identity theft and financial losses. Often phishing emails will lead victims to a site that looks just like a legitimate or a familiar website. Then, by clicking the link and inputting your data like bank accounts or credit card numbers, they will now have your information and be able to do what they want with it.

Spear phishing is a term for a specifically targeted attack on an individual or business. These attacks will target someone they see as vulnerable and gear their phishing emails or messages right at them. It is like using particular bait on a fishing hook. A cybercriminal could pose as your boss or manager and demand essential data immediately. Preventing these kinds of attacks go beyond just proper password management.

How Do We Prevent These Attacks?

Phishing messages are becoming more prevalent across all forms of social networks. They have been around since the early 1990’s and have only gotten more sophisticated. They are designed to use social media to pose as reputable sources. It is often the sheer number of them that makes them so threatening.

Some of these are easy to spot, while others can be quite clever. They can use social engineering to sound familiar and dependable until it is too late. The most effective way to prevent attacks like these is security awareness training. Educating your people on what to look out for and the signs of malicious threats are going to be your first line of defense.

There are small steps that everyone can take to lower the chance of them becoming targets for this type of attack:

  • Keep an eye out for URL redirects, where you are shifted to a different site with identical designs.
  • Don’t post personal information like birthdays, addresses, phone numbers, or vacation plans on public social media platforms.
  • If you suspect that you have received a suspicious email from a source you know, instead of just hitting reply, contact the original source with a new email.
  • Always give the spelling of URLs in email links a second look before you click the link or offer any personal information.

Beyond these more personal measures, there are some precautions that you need expert assistance to take. If you want to protect your business and employees, Willow Bend Systems has the security measures and anti-phishing training to set up a more mature security posture for your business operations. The first big step is acknowledging the threat and then hiring a professional service provider to help. We are here and prepared to defend your people from the perils of phishing attacks.