Cybersecurity Weekly Tip Don’t Be Lured In By Phishing

Cybersecurity Awareness Month continues with tips on how to prevent phishing attacks. Phishing may be “one of the oldest tricks in the book,” but it is still incredibly effective. Although it may be hard to spot when you are in the midst of a phishing attempt, by exercising caution and deploying a few fundamentals, individuals and organizations can reduce the chances of falling victim to a phishing attack.
Here are a few quick tips for dealing with phishing threats to help you #BeCyberSmart. Know the Red FlagsPhishers are masters of making their content and interactions appealing. From content design to language, it can be difficult to discern whether content is genuine or a potential threat, which is why it is so important to know the red flags. Awkward and unusual formatting, overly explicit call outs to click a hyperlink or open an attachment, and subject lines that create a sense of urgency are all hallmarks that the content you received could be potentially from phish and indicate that it should be handled with caution.
Verify the SourcePhishing content comes in a variety of ways, however, many phishes will try to impersonate someone you may already know – such as a colleague, service provider or friend – as a way to trick you into believing their malicious content is actually trustworthy. Don’t fall for it. If you sense any red flags that something may be out of place or unusual, reach out directly to the individual to confirm whether the content is authentic and safe. If not, break-off communication immediately and flag the incident through the proper channels.
Be Aware of Vishing and Other Phishing OffshootsAs awareness has spread about phishing, bad actors have begun to diversify their phishing efforts beyond traditional email. For example, voice phishing (vishing) has become a primary alternative for bad actors looking to gain sensitive information from unsuspecting individuals. Similar to conventional phishing, vishing is done by individuals posing as a legitimate organization, such as a healthcare provider or insurer, and asking for sensitive information. Simply put, it is important to be wary of any sort of communication that asks for personal information whether it be via email, phone or chat, especially if the communication is unexpected. If anything seems suspicious, end the interaction immediately and contact the company directly to confirm the veracity of the communications.