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Phishing Scams: How to Keep Your Employees Safe

Today’s cybercriminals have gotten really good at what they do. It is becoming increasingly harder and harder to spot a scam, especially within emails. Phishing scams are a major concern for business owners and managers, as it is impossible to control everything an employee does on their computer. Often times, these such scams can happen simply by clicking on a link in an email that looks legitimate and is a complete accident on the behalf of the employee. While you can’t immunize your business from phishing scams, here are some ways you can lower your risk and ease your worries.

Train Employees on Cybersecurity Basics

You can’t assume employees know everything about email servers and online safety precautions. Odds are, they probably aren’t up to date on the latest in cybersecurity and are engaging in some risky email behaviors without even realizing it. In order to combat this, you should train all employees on the risks of email phishing and the best ways to reduce their security concerns. Such training would be especially helpful for older employees, who may have never been formally taught how to use a computer or email in the first place. There are lots of cybersecurity firms available for contract who would be willing to hold a training session for your team and teach you everything you need to know. It may be a hefty upfront cost, but it will be an investment in your employees and company’s database security that will pay for itself in the long run. Not to mention, the peace of mind it will bring to both you and your employees knowing you can spot a phishing scam when you see one is priceless.

Keep Employees Updated

Now that your employees are trained, you need to keep continue their learning and keep their knowledge relevant. As a best practice, try to hold quarterly cybersecurity meetings and discuss the latest updates at frequently reoccurring meetings. Make it a point to add cybersecurity on your agendas, sending helpful information out ahead of time for people to brush up on their knowledge and to capitalize on the importance of this matter. Lots of CEOs and managers who have found success in online safety frequently study the latest in phishing trends and share this information with their employees to keep everyone on the same page.

Implement Browser Locks

A browser lock is a way to place a computer in a secure mode where communications between the browser and web server are encrypted. This is designed to prevent anyone from reading or modifying the data you exchange with a website. Typically, a little lock or padlock will appear in the web browser and, most times, employees can manually turn the lock on and off. You may want to consider creating permanent locks if you are dealing with particularly sensitive information. Software like BrowseControl and InterGaurd are among some of the most popular choices for employers, but there are also numerous other web blocking extensions that can be easily installed on company computers. A simple internet search will pull hundreds of results for you to choose from, so do some thorough research to make sure it is a reputable brand and not a scam in disguise.

Spell Check

Phishers typically hide behind misspelled emails and domains. At first glance, you think it says something legit and is a real brand that you know of. But if you inspect it closer, you may find that something is off. It is best to look over the email address letter by letter once the message is in your inbox. If you proceed to open it and there are any links, make sure the link is also spelled correctly. A best practice is to have two employees look over emails that may be sketchy to ensure the first person didn’t miss anything. This is pertinent if the matter deals with sensitive financial or customer information. Also, many brands have a list of email address they use listed on their FAQ or Support pages, so you can be aware of what is really from them and what is not.

Always Be a Skeptic

Employees should always proceed with caution when opening an email. Just because it looks legit, doesn’t mean it is. Phishing sites can hide from search engines, making them easy to disguise under the mask of a well-known brand. These brands can do very little to prevent scammers from copying their logos, email layouts and reaching out on their behalf. Therefore, it is your job to focus on what you can do by committing these tips to memory and implementing precautionary measures to keep all of your employees safe from phishing scams and other online security threats.

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