None of us want to fall for phishing scams and we can generally spot them quite easily, but sometimes they are a little more complex and we are sucked in. You might ask, why do people continue to create these scams, and the reason is the massive amounts of money that can be made from them. Phishing has been around as long as the internet has been, and they are not going away, no matter how hard we try to block and avoid them. You can protect yourself and your company, and this article will tell you some of the things you need to do or look out for, so you are not a victim.
- Be Informed – You think you have seen them all, but there are new phishing scams being created on a daily basis. Therefore, you need to keep yourself well informed about the new scams that are appearing. If you are not aware of what’s going on, then you are more likely to fall prey to a new and more advanced scam. Always be wary and be on the look out for new scams and if necessary, try to set up training for your staff, so that they are more security aware. If they learn the basics, then hopefully they will be able to spot a phishing scam before it does some real harm.
- Be Aware – You need to read up on how to spot a phishing email and get yourself into the habit of reading titles fully, when you receive an email. If it’s a trusted site, then fine, but always check the email address. It may all be the same except for a few missed out or added letters. Just because it initially looks the same, doesn’t mean that it is genuine. Don’t click on emails that you receive randomly, and don’t click on instant messages. Take the time to look at them more closely and if they aren’t relevant to you or your company, don’t click them.
- Additional Protection – Your internet browser generally comes with its own anti-phishing toolbar, but if it doesn’t, then install one from sites like Mailcleaner and others. These toolbars keep an eye on the sites that you are visiting, and then make comparisons with its list of known phishing sites. If you happen to find yourself in one of these sites, the toolbar should alert you to this and give the necessary advice. It is an additional layer of protection and in most cases, it is free of charge, so use it.
- Know What To Look For – You need to make sure that a site that you are visiting is secure. Look out for the ‘https’ on the sites URL and look for the closed lock icon close to the address bar. If you see these, then the site should be secure. If your PC sends you a message telling you that a site’s security certificate is suspect and that you shouldn’t open the page, do what it tells you and don’t open it. It’s common sense, but you would be amazed at the numbers of people who just click through.
These are some of the things that you can do to protect your PC, and there is more advice out there if you look for it. Be sensible, be aware and you shouldn’t get caught out by phishing scams.