How To Protect Yourself From Phishing Attacks
Phishing attacks are one of the most common attacks businesses face. In fact, 83% of businesses have experienced a phishing attack in the past year. Additionally, more than 300,000 phishing attacks were recorded in Q4 of 2021. Small businesses in particular are at increased risk for phishing attacks since they have less resources and IT staff. In this post, we'll cover how you can identify and protect yourself from phishing attacks.
What is a phishing attack?
A phishing attack is a type of social engineering attack that is used to gain access to sensitive information such as passwords, credit card numbers, and account numbers. Most phishing attacks are sent through email and the hacker tries to get the recipient to click on a harmful link or download a file to get access to their data. There are different kinds of phishing attacks. Some of the most prominent ones include:
Spear phishing: Spear phishing is a type of phishing that targets specific organizations and individuals. Instead of sending a mass spam phishing campaign, spear phishing attacks are personalized to the target. This makes them more difficult to identify since they look like legitimate emails.
Clone phishing: Clone phishing is when a phisher creates an exact replica of a legitimate email and then replaces the attachment or link with a malicious one. This type of phishing is very difficult to recognize since it clones a legitimate email that a recipient has already received.
Whale phishing: Whale phishing is a phishing attack targeted at wealthy and powerful individuals. These can be executives, public office holders, celebrities and more. Hackers spend a lot of time targeting and personalizing a specific phishing attack on one person until they fall victim to it.
Phishing prevention tips
There are several ways you can avoid falling victim to a phishing attack. The best strategies include:
Avoid clicking on links from unrecognized people: The majority of phishing attacks are not extremely sophisticated. They're generally spammy emails with a link promising something to you. Avoid clicking on any link from someone you don't know. If you're not expecting an email with a link, it's likely phishing.
Be cautious of any email with a sense of urgency: Many phishing emails try to create a sense of urgency so that you'll click on the link without thinking. They claim that something terrible will happen to your business if you don't do something immediately. This is a common phishing tactic, so be cautious of any email that creates a sense of urgency.
Use two-factor authentication: Even in the case where your login credentials are compromised, hackers will be unable to access your data if you have two-factor authentication set up on your phone. Two-factor authentication enables you to set up a second layer of security, typically a code that is sent to your phone, in order to log in. This makes it much more difficult for hackers since they don't have access to your phone.
These are just a few steps you can take to prevent phishing attacks. To learn how you can protect your business, get cybersecurity assessment and consultation here.