5 Common Phishing Attacks Threatening Your Business

Here’s how to protect your small business!

Most small businesses experience phishing attacks at some point. Hackers and thieves design these attacks to steal sensitive user data like credit card numbers, login information, or passwords.

Usually these attacks appear via innocent messages that have malicious links or various files that include malware.

This article will give a brief breakdown of different attacks, to help give your small business the information it needs to avoid falling victim to them!

Deceptive Phishing

Deceptive phishing is one of the most common forms of phishing attacks. Scammers send a message that mimics the signature or style of a major company. The idea is to make the intended victim hand over their credentials and personal information by convincing them that the website they are on is legitimate one. This is often done by setting up look alike websites; websites that look very similar to popular websites like Facebook, Gmail, or others often will very similar URLs as well can often successfully trick users into putting in their information.

The thing that will usually set it apart is that deceptive phishing attacks always have a sense of urgency. The best way to avoid phishing attacks is to check the URL of any website you’re about to visit. Facebook.com for example is the official URL of Facebook, however a phishing website attempting to steal Facebook login information may use Facebook1.com.

Many companies do a great job of limiting the number of available similar URLs to theirs, however practicing caution never hurts, especially online.

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“The best way to avoid phishing attacks is to check the URL of any website you’re about to visit.”

Ransomware Phishing

Ransomware phishing attacks are problematic because they end up locking you out of your own data. The way ransomware phishing works is that it includes a link to download malware. The malware will often be a trojan horse, meaning it will be hidden inside another downloadable file.

Common ransomware attacks begin by receiving a strange email over email. If a friends email has been compromised, you may receive a strangely worded email from them. If you weren’t expecting an email or one with a link feels a little wrong, make sure to message the sender to confirm it is legit.

After infection, what happens is the ransomware will lock certain files and ask you to pay to have them unlocked. The problem is that a lot of people need those locked files right away and they will pay the ransom. Effective protection against ransomware includes awareness and company and private data backups. 

See How to Backup Your Data.

Spear Phishing

Spear phishing attacks are customized with the target name, phone number, and other personal information. They are trying to fake the fact that they have some sort of connection with you in order to make it easier to access your real data. The goal is pretty much the same as deceptive phishing.

They will send a malicious URL with their request or an attachment for you to download. The email will require you to click or download as fast as possible. Once you use them, your personal data is compromised. These attacks are common on social media sites like LinkedIn where your professional information is available publicly.

The best protection against spear phishing is checking with others in your institution if someone who claims to know you seems unfamiliar!

SMShing

This is a common phishing attack over the phone. A scammer will send the same text to numerous people and wait for people to send their personal info. The scammer will try to trick people into thinking that they won a contest or something similar. These attacks are an older form of trickery, however they still can be very effective if you and your employees are not careful.

The idea is that they will require some login to online credentials so they can steal their data. Because of these attacks, most company’s will not contact you with problems and ask for your information directly with texts or calls. If you receive a call or text, even if the caller ID says it’s a known company and the person on the other side asks for your personal information, hang up and call the company using the number off their website to ensure its not a scammer. Do that before clicking any links or providing any information and always inspect links you receive on your phone.

Executive Phishing

In the case of CEO fraud, attackers will try to target high level employees. The goal is obviously accessing their email accounts or any personal data. This is another form of spear phishing but instead of targeting employees of every level, executive phishing targets the heads of small to mid-sized companies. Scammers will try their hardest to get into the accounts of higher ups because if they can manage to get in, they’ll have access to more, higher value information.

Executives on average are older, meaning many scammers believe they are easier targets and may therefore direct their attacks to target them more precisely. This is why it is essential for individuals in high-ranking positions to be the most knowledgeable about the threats they may come into contact with on a daily basis.

 

If you want to prevent phishing attacks without having to worry about data loss or even identity theft, get in touch with Tech Masters! Our team is here to provide you with some of the best security services on the market. We have been providing high quality IT protection for more than a decade and have the knowhow and manpower to help protect your company against all kinds of attacks! Get in touch with us today and let us protect your business against hackers, scammers, and other bad characters.

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