How to Educate Employees About Phishing & Online Scams

How to Educate Employees About Phishing & Online Scams

People have gotten smarter when it comes to recognizing cyber crime and sniffing out email phishing scams. We are no longer excited when we hear from that Nigerian prince or go into a panic when the IRS demands immediate payment. (They send a bill by traditional mail first…just trust me on that one.) But as we become more savvy about old phishing emails, hackers keep coming up with new ways to reel you in. Not only that, but many of them have turned their attention from individuals to go after a bigger catch: businesses.

Any sized business can be victimized by an email scam, but small businesses are particularly vulnerable. According to the State of SMB Security Report, half of all small businesses in the US have been breached, mostly through emails with a malicious link or attachment. More alarmingly, 60% of small businesses go out of business within six months of a cybersecurity attack, according to Symantec.

So what can you and your employees do to steer clear of these predatory attacks and keep your IDs, passwords and company bank and credit cards protected? Here are a few tips:

Educate Employees About Phishing & Online Scams

Here’s a “yikes” for you: A study by Inspired eLearning found that a whopping 97% of people cannot identify a sophisticated phishing email. Take the time to keep your employees informed of current tricks hackers use and have them look for URL misspellings before clicking on any links. And make sure your employees always report suspicious links whenever they receive them.

Establish Procedures for Handling Phishing Attacks

Do you follow a specific protocol when it comes to your company’s important information? If not, now’s the time to establish procedures that are detailed and fully understood by your employees. Also emphasize a culture of double-checking any requests for information; instead of hitting reply, they should use another communication channel, such as a phone call, to respond to the sender.

Analyze Your Business’ Website Traffic

When your employees bounce between the corporate system and their personal email and social media accounts, it may expose your system to suspicious links. By implementing a security solution, you can closely monitor and continuously analyze your company’s web traffic in real-time, helping you stop phishing messages from penetrating your systems.

Encrypt Sensitive Business Information

Any communication involving your company’s sensitive information should be encrypted to lower the risk of it being accessed by hackers. Email encryption also reduces the chances of unauthorized employees getting hold of such information and wittingly or unwittingly passing in onto the wrong people.

If you need help turning your small business into a no phishing zone, Astound Internet Security services can help protect you from hackers and malware and ensure your network is running efficiently without interruption. Contact us today and learn more about how to ensure the safety and security of your critical data through our comprehensive safeguards and security monitoring.