What Is Phishing and How Can You Protect Your Business From an Attack?

Phishing isn’t done with a rod and a body of water. Instead of a freshly-caught dinner, it can lead to identity theft and financial loss. Unfortunately, these crimes are becoming all too common in today’s world. If you want to know more about phishing and how to protect your business, keep reading.

What Is Phishing?

Phishing is a form of cyber-attack that targets unsuspecting individuals in order to gain access to sensitive information like passwords or credit card numbers. Phishers use emails, texts, or social media messages with malicious links to fool victims into clicking on them and handing over personal details. Emails come in the guise of legitimate organizations, while suspicious texts and social media messages may seemingly be coming from trusted contacts. Be aware of this type of attack – It is more common than you might expect. In fact, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center reported that people lost $57 million in one year due to phishing schemes.

Questions to Ask About Suspicious Messages

The scammers often send links for recipients to click on within their messages. They are of course designed to look very convincing, but there are ways to determine if you are getting contacted by a phishing scheme. Asking yourself these questions when you receive suspicious messages will help you determine whether it is legitimate or not.

  • Do you recognize the sender? Does the domain of the email look strange, maybe even misspelled? If they are posing as someone you know, would they send a message like that?
  • Who is the message sent to? Sometimes other people will be CC’d in the email – do you know them?
  • Was the email sent at a strange time of day that isn’t normal business hours?
  • Is the subject line strange? Is it related to the body of the email? Is it a reply to an email you never sent?
  • Before clicking any links, are they misspelled? Is the message empty except for a very long hyperlink?
  • Are there attachments that are unrelated to the email, like an invoice? Does the file type seem unsafe?
  • Is the sender directly asking for money? Are there misspellings in the writing that don’t make sense?
  • Are you being asked to confirm information?

All of these questions should inform you if the email looks suspicious. If you don’t think it is a legitimate email, never click on the links or attachments.

Other Tips to Protect Yourself From Phishing

To prevent your business from falling victim to a phishing scheme here are some additional tips:

  • Some computers and email systems already filter out spam and fake emails, but there are also additional software you can install to protect you even more.
  • Change your browser settings to block pop-ups from unreliable websites.
  • Hover your mouse over the link in the message. If it previews a different website than what it says, that is most likely a phishing email.
  • If you get an email from your bank or other subscription services, don’t click the links in the email. Instead, go directly to their website. Many phishing emails and texts say your account is overdue or ask you to confirm information and get your bank information. By checking your accounts directly, you are able to see if you are in fact past due.
  • If the scammer is posing as someone you know, call or text that person directly. A friend or family member can quickly tell you if they did send the email or if it was a phishing email.
  • Unless you know that the email is real, do not open attachments unless it is a .TXT file. It is the only truly safe file that cannot install malware onto your computer. Unfortunately .DOC and .PDF files can carry viruses.
  • Another way to keep your information safe is to use a VPN (virtual private network). VPNs mask your internet protocol (IP) address so your online actions are virtually untraceable. Most importantly, VPN services establish secure and encrypted connections to provide greater privacy than even a secured Wi-Fi hotspot.

Keep Your Business Safe From Phishing

Taking the extra steps now by being aware of how phishing emails work and how to identify them can help keep your business safe and protect you from potential scams. Empower yourself with knowledge and don’t be a target for cybercriminals. If you receive an email that looks even slightly suspicious, ask yourself critical questions such as: who is the sender; what do they want and why they are asking you; and if this request is typical or out of the ordinary. Additionally, be sure to always check the website URL before clicking on any links in emails, and never provide personal information via email. Learning these tips today will ensure tomorrow’s peace of mind when it comes to cyber security. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

Demystifying SEO: Your Guide to Ranking Higher on Search Engines

Visual Appeal: Eye-Catching Images and Videos for Social Media

The Power of Storytelling: Captivate Your Audience with Narrative Magic

Mastering the Art of the Hashtag: How to Get Your Content Seen

Have any questions?

We have answers.

Can you help me grow Instagram followers?

We partner with Socialboost to help build Instagram followers. Click the link below to enroll. Plans start at $59/mo.

What photos or videos do you use?

By default, we can use the photos you have on your website as well as utilizing the plethora of photos available to us within our royalty free library.

If you have photos or videos for us to use, depending on your subscription, we welcome you to upload them into a Google Drive folder and share that link with us!

Looking for custom videos?  Some of our plans include videos or you can add them to any plan starting at $98/mo!

How do you mimic my branding colors and style?

As mentioned above, depending on your plan, we can use whatever you’d like to provide us! If not, we’ll resort to using your website or our royalty free library.

That being said, we can come up with custom graphics that suit your branding style as an add-on to your posting subscription.

$98/month for 3 custom graphics each week
$148/month for 5 custom graphics each week

Note: The cost of custom graphics is on top of your monthly subscription cost

What is content review & approval?

Content review and approval is where your social media content creator sends you a weeks worth of posts, prior to their designated publication time the following week.

This way, you will have the chance to give us feedback on each post in case you’d like us to make a minor edit.

Note: One round of editing per post permitted, depending on your plan.

What are the results I can expect from your posting services?

The idea behind consistent posting onto your social media pages is to keep them active with content that promotes your business solutions, educates your audience to showcase your expertise and to also keep things lighthearted, it’s social media after all!

There’s nothing worse for a business than to earn someone looking into what you do, only for them to see a barren social media page. To them, it may appear that you are out of business or potentially a scam.

We are often asked about growing followers and generating sales or leads. These are great goals to have but please understand that those goals are better obtained through paid advertising campaigns.

For more information on paid advertising, please visit our paid advertising services.

Do you use a posting scheduler and how do you get access to my business pages?

We are fortunate to be partnered with CloudCampaign.com to utilize their excellent scheduling platform.

By signing up for our content services, we will set you up with your own Cloud Campaign workspace depending on your plan.

During onboarding we request admin access to your social accounts using a secure platform. This allows us to manage the occasional disconnect when the platforms push out updates.

Furthermore, with your own workspace you are welcome to view and edit content at your leisure!

Why do my posts say “Posted by Cloud Campaign”

We use Cloud Campaign, which is a 3rd party app, to scale social media management and posting. When a post says “Posted by Cloud Campaign”, it is only the admins of your company page that can see this and not your followers.