Phishing scams have long been a part of the cybersecurity landscape--but with new threats on the horizon, it's time to refresh your knowledge. Here are our top tips for protecting against phishing scams.
What Are Phishing Scams?
Phishing scams come in all shapes and sizes, but their goal is always the same: to trick you or one of your well-meaning employees into giving up sensitive personal or company information.
You should know these key things about phishing scams:
Phishing scams are most common via email, but they can also come over the phone or as a text message. It all depends on what contact information is most available online.
Although the goal is usually the same, phishing scams take a variety of approaches to trick you out of your information. They generally begin by posing as a reliable source, such as the CEO of your company or your print supplies provider. They also often use urgency to send you into a panic and keep you from looking too closely; they may promise a limited-time deal or threaten to send a significant bill if you don't respond in a certain way.
Most phishing scams have red flags, including:
- Typos in the sender's email address.
- Typos in the body content.
- Links that say one thing but, when hovered over, actually direct somewhere else.
- Forms that make no sense--for example, your CEO texting you personally.
Phishing Scams Are Getting Smarter
Sad but true: Artificial intelligence (AI) is making it easier for phishing scams to hit the mark.
Hackers use AI to:
- Gather different pieces of your contact information from a variety of sources.
- Generate more scam content at a faster pace.
- Create sophisticated, legitimate-looking body content for emails or texts.
The problem is that, as AI gets smarter, it becomes a more powerful tool for hackers. This undermines some of the biggest red flags used to identify and avoid scams, which means your company may need to rethink its approach to cybersecurity and phishing avoidance.
Your Guide To Avoiding Phishing Scams
Need help dodging those phishing scams? Here are our top tips:
#1: Use Your Own AI
When it comes to cybersecurity, don't be afraid to give those hackers a taste of their own medicine. AI can help support and strengthen your cybersecurity, make life easier for your employees, and more--just remember that no AI system is perfect.
#2: Double-Check Sources
If you get an email or text from someone who doesn't usually contact you, think twice before opening anything or responding. It's safest to reach out to that person or entity on a separate communication channel to ask if the message was legitimate.
#3: Look for New Signs
Remember that AI is making it difficult to rely on previous red flags, such as typos in the body content of an email or text. That means you'll need to look for new signs that something's not right. In this case, you might need to think like AI; for example, if everyone in your company got a particular email, the chances are high that an AI system gathered a a ton of contact information and automatically sent a mass message.
#4: Call The Experts
At the end of the day, phishing scams may not be the most threatening or immediate cybersecurity issue on the horizon--but they're still a significant source of worry. Don't try to juggle all those variables alone; instead, call the managed IT services experts. A managed IT provider can help identify vulnerabilities, monitor for suspicious activity, identify and remove threats, and so much more.
In conclusion, phishing scams aren't a new problem--but they're getting smarter and more difficult to identify. That means your company needs to get smarter, too.
Looking for more tech tips? Need help from managed IT services? Contact us today!