You may not even realize it, but you've probably been the victim of a phishing scam at some point in your life. In Canada alone, close to 80,000 people fall victim to phishing scams daily and as a result, end up sharing their personal information.
Phishing scams are particularly problematic at work. They not only compromise an employee's personal information but also sensitive and crucial company information.
What is phishing?
Phishing is a common tactic cybercriminals use to gain access to sensitive information by posing as a reputable organization. These organizations are ones that the target is involved with and trusts. This usually happens via email, but can also be done by text message or a phone call. The criminal gains the victim's trust and lures them into providing sensitive information i.e. credit card numbers. They will then use this information to conduct identity theft.
Why is phishing so effective?
Over the years, cybercriminals have upped their game to make their phishing scams more effective than ever. They continue to get better at mimicking the appearance and language of the companies they are pretending to be. For example, a sender can make their name appear to be anything. This is why it's important for the receiver to check the actual email address. Below is just one of many examples of what a phishing email could look like:
Cybercriminals also use a sense of urgency. Often they offer incredible deals and worded as being for a " limited time only." This tactic is effective because people are always motivated by good bargains. As a result,receivers don't stop to think about whether the email is real. This is why your employees should always consider the possibility of phishing with every single email they receive.
Employees should always remember to:
- Never click on any attachments or links that are sent by unknown senders
- Be aware of who you give any personal or financial information out to
One way companies can help their employees is always have both onsite and remote support available. This support provides employees with the help needed to deal with phishing scams as well as other forms of cybercrimes. If you find that your company frequently falls victim to phishing scams, you should consider implementing managed IT services at your company.
Managed IT is essentially outsourcing your IT needs to an experienced professional team. An outsourced IT team can both strengthen your security systems as well as educate your employees about phishing scams. By doing so, you will prevent anyone in your company from falling victim to these all-too-common scams.