IT Security: Types of Phishing and How to Avoid Them

IT security is more important than ever for the modern business. Phishing attacks have become a common threat with the potential to affect any type of business. Phishing is the method of gathering personal or business information through the use of deceptive emails and websites. Today’s hackers continue to evolve their phishing attempts in ways that are designed to completely fool the end user. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the phishing methods that are out there now and how your business can avoid them.

Spear Phishing

This method uses your personal information to deceive you into clicking something malicious. You may see your name, job title, or phone number in an email (likely gathered from an online resource), making it appear valid. When you click on the URL in the email or its attachment, you give the hacker access to additional personal information. The rule of thumb here: if you don’t recognize the sender, don’t open it.

Malware Phishing

Malware phishing revolves around viruses, worms, and ransomware that can harm your computer and your connected network. For example, you may receive an email attachment that claims to be an invoice, when in reality it’s malware. Again, if you don’t recognize the sender, don’t open any attachments or click on any links in an email.

Whale Phishing

This is when hackers go after the log in credentials of a top company executive. Hackers then use C-level executive accounts to deceive lower level employees into wiring them money. If you receive an email from a top executive or CEO that looks suspicious, reply to the email first before taking any other action.

Phishing Prevention Tips To Beef Up Your IT Security

  • Do not post your personal data online. Posting information online makes it easy for hackers to attack you with deceptive messages that look very personal and legitimate.
  • Check the spellings of URLs. Oftentimes, fake URLs are set up to be just one letter off of the real website name. When you end up on a fake website, you get trapped into clicking malicious links.
  • If you do click on a suspicious URL, pay attention to the site that you are redirected to. It may have a similar design to the site that you were expecting, but there are likely details that are missing that should tip you off to it being a fake site. Check the logo and contact info to look for discrepancies.
  • As mentioned earlier, if you don’t recognize the sender, don’t open anything!

Don’t let these phishing attempts disrupt the daily operations. Contact Braden today to learn more about the phishing prevention methods and IT security approaches that are available to protect your business.