Although not a new phenomenon, phishing (attempting to obtain sensitive information or money by masquerading as a trustworthy entity via email) is more common than you might think. Phishing continues to be a pervasive cybersecurity issue in an online environment in which over 205 billion emails are sent daily. Many phishing attempts succeed by appearing to be legitimate emails that come from a “trusted” source, and by containing content with a sense of urgency that persuades the recipient to click on a malicious link, download an attachment, or share personal information. A successful phishing attack can cause major financial disruption for an organization or the loss of sensitive company data.
To avoid experiencing the ramifications of a phishing attack yourself, always be sure to take a moment and pause before you click on anything in an email. Taking time to examine the content of an email can save you and your organization a serious headache. A few extra tips:
- Never send personal information or financial details via email
- If you know the site you want to visit (especially true for financial institutions), visit it directly by typing it into the address bar
- Only open email attachments that you expect to receive
- Make sure your antivirus and other computer applications are up-to-date
- If an email looks suspicious, call the sender and confirm its content
For more information about phishing, check out this Cyber Security Minute.