7 Ways to Protect Your Small Business from Phishing Attacks
- January 16, 2023
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- 1 Introduction
- 2 What are phishing attacks?
- 3 7 ways to protect your business from phishing attacks
- 3.0.1 1. Take steps to identify phishing and its more nuanced counterpart, spear phishing
- 3.0.2 2. Avoid clicking on suspicious links
- 3.0.3 3. Ensure that the sites you are directed to are secure and do not fill in the information
- 3.0.4 4. Regular updates are the way to go
- 3.0.5 5. Install pop-up blockers and have robust filters
- 3.0.6 6. Use 2-factor authentication and firewalls for an extra layer of security
- 3.0.7 7. Conduct exercises and training for cybersecurity
- 4 Conclusion
The internet is a dangerous place. Despite the assurances from dozens of tech giants about the security of our data, we should always be cautious. It is even more important for businesses to be cautious. Data, and information, especially sensitive information pertaining to bank accounts and money are at the mercy of scams, hacks, and phishing attacks.
The latter is the focus of this article. Phishing attacks are common. They have been around since the invention of emails and over the years, they have seemingly gotten clever, despite the sheer awareness around them.
So, the question remains what can your business do for phishing attack prevention, and how to prevent phishing attacks? In this blog, we will take a closer look at these topics and give you 7 ways to protect yourself and your business.
What are phishing attacks?
Phishing attacks are scams that are designed to elicit personal information from a user. The pertinent information is usually user data for credit cards, debit cards, and bank account numbers. They could also include scams that elicit login credentials. There are hundreds and thousands of these scams that run every day. Fortunately, you can easily prevent them from gaining access to precious information. Here are 7 ways to help you stay safe.
7 ways to protect your business from phishing attacks
1. Take steps to identify phishing and its more nuanced counterpart, spear phishing
First and foremost, learn to identify what phishing is. Gone are the days when most scams were simple. These days, scammers are getting better and the existence of “Spear phishing” makes things more complicated. Spear phishing is when the hacker or scammer uses personal details available through public records and social media and uses it to tailor-make phishing attacks and messages.
There are some signs that you can use to identify phishing. Phishing attack prevention starts by looking out for impulsive and urgent messages, grammatical mistakes, and baiting using money.
For businesses, the issue arises in the fact that they use emails to communicate with partners and clients. This can often mean they have to open an array of links throughout the day.
So the best recourse how to prevent phishing attacks is to not open links in emails that seem fishy. Do not click on that link.
3. Ensure that the sites you are directed to are secure and do not fill in the information
A common mistake that people often tend to make is to open websites that are not secure. There are two ways to make sure you are entering a secure website. The first is to ensure that the site’s URL starts with HTTPS. The second is to make sure that the lock icon next to the URL is closed.
If you are unsure of the site’s authenticity do not enter any personal information. Your name, your date of birth, your phone number, nothing. Small businesses should authenticate the legitimacy of site links by asking their clients or partners to verify them. This step will increase phishing attack prevention,
4. Regular updates are the way to go
Most users have a tendency to turn off updates. It may interfere with workflow or take up too much time. However, if you do not update your systems regularly, they are prone to phishing attacks. Whenever there is a to-do list on how to prevent phishing attacks it will always encourage users to switch on updates.
Updating regularly ensures that your device is aware of modern cyber-attacks and the latest phishing methods.
5. Install pop-up blockers and have robust filters
For all small businesses, it is essential that you install pop-up blockers. Aside from the annoyance factor, pop-ups are some of the ways through which hackers steal money. They will redirect you to phishing sites if you fail to close them. Having popup blockers is the best way to go about it. And if you happen to have clicked on one, whenever you are closing the pop-up the x is always at the corner, not in the middle of the screen.
6. Use 2-factor authentication and firewalls for an extra layer of security
One of the cleverest ways scammers can direct you to phishing sites is when you are logging in. They can create duplicate web pages that resemble the login page and redirect you to a site where you have to enter your details. Hackers can intercept this and use your credentials to log in and steal your money or data.
Enabling 2-factor authentication through an outside application that can generate a code or through a one-time password, adds that extra layer of security. By using tools that generate security keys your business and site will be safe from phishing attacks.
There is also the matter of firewalls. Security should be multi-tiered. Especially on your work email. For small business accounts, it is important to have filters that can weed out spam emails or block them entirely. Your email server should have a robust filtration system. For small businesses, it is advisable to use both desktop and network firewalls that monitor traffic and filters as per well-defined security parameters.
7. Conduct exercises and training for cybersecurity
Aside from implementing the aforementioned tips, every business should look to raising phishing awareness. By doing that you can help in phishing attack prevention. Companies should conduct regular training in cyber security for their employees. Businesses also need to be aware of other kinds of cybersecurity. By staying up-to-date, companies can stay robust and protect vital data.
The fact of the matter is that in a world where the internet has seeped into every crevice of life,
Phishing attacks are highly common. People fall victim to it every day. Small businesses need to be aware of the threat it poses. By taking adequate measures and by adhering to the 7 ways to protect your small business from phishing, you can evade risk and work worry-free.
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