Phishing Scams Exposed: How to Keep Your Data Secure

Phishing Scams - Secure Data - AZCOMP Technologies

How to Keep Your Data Secure From Phishing Scams

“Congratulations, Tom! Your Lucky Number 73789 was drawn. Get your iPhone 14 here: <URL>”

Chances are that you’ve also received an email or text message saying you’ve won a contest or prize. But could you be so lucky to win something you never entered? No! Don’t fall for it! It’s a phishing scam!

These types of mail and text messages are sent out with a hidden agenda, which is to steal your personal information. They then use the information for malicious purposes.

Sadly, many people become victims of these scams.

The cybercriminals may ask for your bank information or Social Security number, claiming to verify your identity. In reality, they are collecting these to sell on the dark web.

Phishing Scams Affect Businesses as well

Phishing scams affect not only individuals but also businesses in the Phoenix metro area. Symantec Security Center estimates that the average employee will receive at least two scam emails every week. That means an organization with 10 employees would be targeted more than 1000 times within a year!

But does it mean employees are too trusting online?

Not exactly! All it takes is one click to open the network to various cybercrime attacks. That one click tells the sender the account is active, and they can focus more on spam and attacks.

In the worst-case scenario, a single click could download spyware, ransomware, or virus that compromises an entire network. This could result in recording passwords and other login information to access bank accounts and client databases. The employee could also enter sensitive information into a scammy website that appears legit.

The US Small Business Administration estimates that these attacks cost small businesses over $2.8 billion in damages in 2020. Verizon says the costs were up to $653,587.

What can Businesses do to Safeguard themselves from Phishing Scams?

Not having sufficient protection and proper training can be disastrous for any business. Preventive measures can prevent millions in losses and keep your business running.

Wouldn’t these preventative measures cost an arm and leg?

Indeed, there are easy and free ways to protect your business and employees from phishing scams and other cyber risks. These measures include:

  • Employee awareness: make sure all your employees are aware of scams in general. Have them read articles like this to make sure they understand what a scam is. You’d be surprised how many adults are naïve about scams.
  • Employee training: properly training your staff about cyber threats and the best practices for a safer online workspace can significantly reduce the risks of an attack. Your employees should be taught how to be vigilant and recognize signs of a scam email.
  • Technical solutions: Technical solutions such as prohibited access to illegitimate sites and spam blocking can play a vital role in keeping your business safe. While most email providers offer built-in spam filters, additional protection measures are essential.
    • Other protection measures include antivirus software, firewalls, and intrusion detection systems.
  • Ensure network security: You can significantly reduce the risk of a cyber-attack by keeping the hardware and software up to date. Conduct penetration audits and regular security audits to point out any threats.

Best Practices You Can Implement for Your Employees

Your employees should be educated on identifying suspicious emails, attachments, and links. Provide them with guidelines on steps to take when they encounter suspicious emails and activity.

Some of the best practices your establishment should implement include:

  • Verification of the sender: The employee should first verify the sender before they can open the email. Check the sender’s email, and contact them through a different channel just to be sure.
  • Be extra cautious with emails requiring personal info: emails requesting banking information, social security number, and credit card details should be treated with a pinch of salt.
  • Never click on suspicious links: All staff members should be advised never to click on any attachments or links inside the email from unknown sources. Phishing scams capitalize on malicious attachments and links to hook victims and collect personal information.
  • Anti-spam filters can filter out or block unwanted or suspicious emails and keep their inboxes clutter-free.

Cyber threats are a genuine concern for any Arizona business, and staff awareness is vital to ensure a safe and secure workspace. At a minimum, employees know how to identify cybersecurity risks and what they should do. Conduct regular training and implement technical solutions to secure the data and systems.

The cost of a cyberattack is much higher than that of technical solutions and proper employee training. Simple preventative measures can prevent business closure. It’s a simple choice, really!

To see how to stop being a sitting duck and instead take control of your security, simply call AZCOMP, and we’ll walk you through your options.

About AZCOMP Technologies

AZCOMP Technologies opened its doors in 2000 and has been providing managed IT services to companies across industries in Phoenix, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Tempe, and Scottsdale. Most of our time is spent working on our client’s computers and networks to prevent unexpected interruptions and cyber risks. We ensure organizations do business with peace of mind.

Contact us today for more information about managed IT services in Phoenix.

 - AZCOMP Technologies
author avatar
Byron Adams
Byron has spent nearly two decades helping thousands of small businesses resolve technology issues, design technology solutions, improve technology security, plan and budget for technology projects, and improve business productivity through technology. As the Technology Director at AZCOMP Technologies, he leads a team that provides Managed IT Services our clients. Our goal is to "deliver phenomenal" to our clients - AZCOMP's first core value. By outsourcing their IT needs to AZCOMP, Byron serves our clients as their CTO. Byron helps our clients get their time back, allowing them to focus on their business and what they do best. In addition, they enjoy more predictable technology costs, increased employee productivity, and improved cyber-security posture.

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