Phishing attacks are nothing new. As long as email itself has existed, cyber criminals have sought to exploit it by tricking message recipients into releasing personal information such as credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, and birth dates. Using such information, malicious actors can commit identity theft, causing havoc in the financial lives of the victims.
A managed programs approach is one of the IT solutions that can help to prevent phishing attacks. By keeping security and filters installed and up to date, managed programs experts can often keep phishing emails from reaching employees in the first place. The other effective solution to the problem of phishing rests in training. A few powerful strategies can help employees to resist the lure of a phishing email.
1. Examine return addresses and links carefully.
Some phishing emails use domain names that look like real banks at first glance. A second glance can often reveal that the bank name is not, in fact, an authentic one.
2. Never disclose your own or customer data based on an emailed request.
Some workers are lured into doing so by the presence of a link that appears to go to an official website. These can be spoofed websites reached through disguised links.
3. Suspect attachments.
A best practice regarding attachments is never to open them from strangers. Only open them from known trusted individuals after you have ascertained that the sender meant to send you an attachment. Otherwise, a virus might be sending it out.
4. Confirm questions by phone
Call people and speak to them in person when you have questions about the authenticity of a request.