Every morning we log on to our corporate email and begin the day sifting through a myriad of emails, most of which are equally important and needing action. Likely, you haven't even finished your first cup of coffee and not focused on the cybercriminal who is hoping you will respond to their highly sophisticated phishing email waiting in your Inbox. So how do you recognize and react to the myriad of fake emails coming at you multiple times a day?
Awareness and skepticism are the most important attitudes to have towards email these days. Fake emails are "phishing" to obtain your personal information or to infect your computer with malicious software (malware), including viruses, ransomware, and spyware. Phishing attempts can be fraudulent emails or telephone calls (vishing) from someone posing as a trustworthy source. These threat actors are attempting to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and financial information.
Here are some tips to avoid falling victim to sneaky cyber criminals as you scan those daily emails:
What to Look For
- Look closely at the sender’s email address and any web links that you are sent. Even a single character out of place can indicate a fraudulent email.
- Does the email have a urgent tone? Phrases such as "Action Required" or "Your account will be closed" are common tactics for phishing attempts.
- Unexpected receipts or documents within an email from a familiar source.
What to Do Next
- Do not open, respond to, or send emails that you suspect as being a phishing attempt or scam.
- Do not open email attachments or click on unknown links that have been sent to you by unknown sources.
- Be wary of unexpected attachments or links from known sources that seem out of place.
- If you receive an email that you suspect is a phishing attempt, send it as an attachment to your IT support team (click on image to enlarge.)
- At the business level, implement a powerful spam filtering solution that scans each email to determine if the email is legitimate.
- Also, enroll staff in annual security awareness training so they are up-to-date on the latest phishing tactics and scams the cybercriminals are employing.
Important: If you suspect you may have fallen victim to a phishing attempt (entered any personal information, or opened and downloaded attachments from a suspicious email), please contact your IT support team immediately.
Phishing attacks are on the rise and increasingly sophisticated. It is vital you remain vigilant with any emails you receive. Don't be an easy target for the cybercriminals. Find out if you may be vulnerable by taking our short quiz designed to test your cyber knowledge.
You can get more information on security awareness training here, or reach out to Systems Engineering at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 888.624.6737. Customers, please reach out to your Account Manager.
Stephen Foley is the Manager of the Help Desk at Systems Engineering. Stephen leads a team of experienced, highly-trained engineers who provide end-user support to improve end-user productivity and enable efficiency.
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