The Dangers of Phishing Scams and How to Identify Them

Phishing scams are one of the most common types of cybersecurity threats. These scams involve sending fake emails or messages that appear to be from a legitimate organization, such as a bank or credit card company. The goal of a phishing scam is to trick you into giving up your personal information, such as your login credentials, credit card number, or Social Security number.

Phishing scams are sometimes very sophisticated and can be difficult to spot. The scammers often use official-looking logos and branding, and they may even create fake websites that look just like the real thing. They may also send emails that appear to be from a friend or colleague, in an attempt to get you to click on a malicious link or download malware.

How to Identify a Phishing Scam

If you receive an email that looks like it might be a phishing scam, don’t panic. Take a few minutes to verify the authenticity of the email before taking any action. Here are some tips for verifying an email:

  1. Check the sender’s email address within the email and make sure that all of the characters are correct. Often, phishing scams will use spoofed email addresses, so the sender’s address will appear legitimate at first glance.
  2. Look for spelling mistakes and poor grammar. Phishing scams often have errors in their text because the scammers are trying to produce as many emails as possible in a short amount of time.
  3. Check the website links included in the email. Many phishing scams include links to fake websites, so be suspicious of any links in an email that you aren’t expecting and check for authenticity before clicking on anything within the email.
  4. Hover over any links included in the email to see their destination URL. If the link doesn’t match the text in the email, it’s probably a scam.
  5. Call the company directly if you’re not sure whether an email is genuine. If you receive an email from your bank or credit card company, don’t hesitate to call them directly to ask about it. They will be able to tell you if the email is legitimate or not.

Phishing scams are a serious threat to your cybersecurity and can result in identity theft or financial loss. To protect yourself from these scams, always be vigilant when opening emails, and never give out your personal information unless you trust the source.

What to Do if You Receive a Phishing Scam Email

If you have received a suspicious email and verified the likelihood of it being a phishing scam based on the information above, how should you proceed? The most important thing to do in this scenario is to not engage with the email. However, there are also a few additional steps that you should take:

  1. Delete the email.
  2. Do not click any links or open any attachments.
  3. Report the email to your cybersecurity provider.

How an MSP Can Help Prevent and Avoid Phishing Scams

Email Filtering to Prevent Phishing Scams

MSPs can implement services that will automatically monitor and filter incoming emails and separate the ones that may be malicious so that no one in your organization accidentally engages with them. Our preferred software for this is called Proofpoint and we partner with them because they ensure that emails are from a reliable sender, do not contain executable scripts, are intended for the user, and follow rules set by the organization.

Our computer experts implement and manage these accounts for our clients, and provide additional services such as:

  • Maintaining whitelists and blacklists for individual users as well as company wide
  • Modifying when/how many digests users receive
  • Reviewing email logs to verify if an email was or was not received
  • Tuning spam filters to allow or disallow email lists

Phishing Scam Simulations

Phishing scam simulations are a great way to train employees on the dangers of phishing scams and how to identify and respond to them. We offer these services in collaboration with one of our select vendors and administer phishing scam simulations that are realistic and engaging, so employees will be more likely to learn from them.

The simulations are designed to be as realistic as possible, so employees will feel like they are in the middle of a real phishing scam. They are also interactive, so employees can see how their behavior can affect the outcome of a scam.

Phishing scam simulations are an excellent way to ensure that your employees are well versed in how to protect your organization from phishing attacks. Our platform also has a scoring system to help identify which employees may be more vulnerable to these attacks, so we can provide additional training.

Phishing scams are a common occurrence in the digital world. They are often very sophisticated and can be difficult to detect. In this blog post, we’ve outlined how to protect your organization from these attacks and how an MSP can help prevent and avoid phishing scams within your company. Phishing is a serious threat that can result in data loss, monetary loss, or even identity theft, so it is important to be vigilant about protecting your information and knowing how to spot these scams.

If you are interested in learning more about how we can help eliminate the risk for phishing attacks and other cybersecurity threats within your business, please contact us to schedule a free consultation.

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