Phishing attacks are common cyber-attacks that can steal individuals' and organizations' online security. In this blog post, we will discuss ten red flags to look out for to protect yourself and your business from phishing attacks.
Phishing attacks are a common type of cyber-attack. It involves tricking people into giving away sensitive information or doing actions that weaken their online security. These attacks can take many forms, including fake emails, text messages, or phone calls. It is important to be aware of the different red flags to protect yourself and your business from these attacks.
10 RED FLAGS TO HELP YOU SPOT A PHISHING ATTACK
- Suspicious or unfamiliar sender email address or website URL:
One of the most common tricks used in phishing attacks is the creation of fake websites. They look and feel like real websites. These sites grab login credentials or other sensitive information that unsuspecting users enter. If the sender's email address or the website URL looks suspicious or unfamiliar, it is best to be cautious and not click any links or enter any information.
- Urgent or threatening language:
Cybercriminals often use urgent or unpleasant language to scare people into taking action right away. They might include threats to close an account or to report an individual to the authorities if they do not act. Be suspicious of any emails or messages that use this type of language. Take the time to verify these messages before taking any action.
- Request for personal information:
Another method, is to request personal information, such as login credentials or financial information. Be extremely careful when giving this type of information. Especially if you were not expecting this request.
- Unexpected link or attachment:
Be suspicious of emails or messages that include links or attachments you were not expecting. If you receive an email from someone you know, it is still a good idea to confirm they sent it before clicking any links or downloading any attachments.
- Poor spelling and grammar:
Many phishing emails and messages are poorly written and may contain spelling and grammar errors. That can be a sign the email is fake.
- Request to transfer money or pay an invoice:
Phishers may trick people into transferring money into an account or paying an invoice. They pretend to be a client, vendor or government agency. Be careful of any requests to transfer money or pay an invoice, especially if you were not expecting to receive such a request.
- Unsolicited phone calls:
Cybercriminals may also use phone calls to trick people into telling them sensitive information. Or they might try to get people to perform actions that weaken their online security. Be careful of unsolicited phone calls that request personal information or ask you to take certain actions.
- Pop-up windows:
Be cautious of any pop-up windows that appear while browsing the internet. These pop-up windows may capture login credentials or other sensitive information.
- Incorrect security alerts:
Phishers may trick people into believing their accounts have been stolen by showing fake security alerts. Be careful of any security alerts that seem suspicious or you were not expecting to receive.
- Requests to update account information:
Cybercriminals may try to trick people into updating their account information. Be careful of any requests to update your account information, especially if you were not expecting to receive such a request.
If you see any of these red flags, it is best to be careful and not click any links or enter any information. Instead, try to verify the accuracy of the message by contacting the sender directly or visiting the company's official website. Most importantly, you should contact your Managed Services Provider immediately.
If you want to learn more about preventing phishing attacks or have questions about cyber security best practices, contact us. Our IT experts are ready to help.