Keeping your team vigilant against potential cyber scams is vital. Understanding common cyberthreats – such as phishing and smishing (yes, these really do exist!) – and how to spot them goes a long way to protecting your business.
One of the most common digital scams, a phishing message is usually received via email from a seemingly legitimate source requesting sensitive data. Check the sender’s address matches the business they are supposedly emailing from, look out for spelling or grammar errors, and never click suspicious links. Deleting the message and blocking the sender can prevent future issues.
With vishing, scammers call and claim to be from a legitimate business while asking you to disclose sensitive information. If you receive a suspicious call ask for their customer service centre or business contact information and verify it online. You can also ask to call back using the number you have on file, scammers will resist and try to rush you into giving them information.
Smishing is similar to phishing except via text message, WhatsApp, or another messaging provider. Scammers send a message containing a link asking you to submit sensitive information. Most businesses have a statement on their website outlining how they’ll contact you, which you can use to confirm the legitimacy of messages. Check the sender’s phone number, don’t click links, don’t share personal information, and delete the message in question if it looks questionable.
Pharming is the installation of malicious code (a virus) on a computer or server that redirects you to a fraudulent website. Usually installed remotely via email or instant messaging attachments it’s therefore vital to check messages from unfamiliar sources. When accessing an unknown website, check for the “s” in “https://” in the address bar or a lock symbol in the browser – these show you the site is secure and safe. If it lacks either of these or looks different to the last time you visited close the website and report it immediately.
Author: Rachel Bridgen
Published: March 11, 2021
Read Time: 2 minutes (400+ words)