Phishing attacks, a type of social engineering that is used to steal data, login credentials, credit card numbers and more, happen when a user opens an email, instant message or text message that looks credible – only to find it had malicious intent.
Don’t feel bad. Phishing scams fool even the techiest of people.
Attackers disguise the attacks as a trusted entity, perhaps a person you know or business you have worked with previously. The goal is getting you to click a link or to download an attachment. These types of attacks date back to the ’90s, and advanced technology allows them to become increasingly sophisticated.
“Think like a hacker to protect your business,” said Kim Del Fierro, vice president of marketing for Area 1 Security.
According to Del Fierro, hackers previously had to dig for personal information. But now, with data-matching services like Spokeo and PeekYou, hackers get all the information they need and more.
Companies like Area 1 now offers solutions to prevent phishing by disrupting the chain pre-emptively, before an attack can cause damage.
What are other ways you can stop the attacks? As Del Fierro said, think like a hacker. Regularly challenge and validate your security protocols. Think about the source of an email that is asking you to click a link. Would the person named as the sender really send you a link to click?
Keep informed about phishing techniques, and make sure your IT administrators get ongoing security training and pass the information along to your employees. Ask your staff members and co-workers to think twice before they click a link, especially those that appear in random emails, instant messages and texts. Consider installing an anti-phishing toolbar to run quick checks on sites. Always keep your browser up to date, use firewalls and watch out for pop-ups. Use anti-virus software and consider a staff meeting using your IT staff or IT provider demonstrating phishing scams to staff.
Knowledge is power. Knowing how to think like a hacker can help you to stop them at their own game.