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What is Phishing?

Phishing is when cyber-criminals attempt to trick people into clicking a link to a malicious website. Using scam emails, messages, and/or phone calls. The aim is to send millions of unknowing victims to websites that are designed to download viruses, that are disguised as safe links or attachments, onto their device. Cyber-criminals also use links and attachments to steal or ‘Phish’ a victim’s private information, whether this be financial or personal.

What are the signs of Phishing?

Over the years Phishing scams have become more sophisticated and harder to distinguish from regular emails, but knowing even small signs to look out for can massively benefit an individual or company if they are targeted by cyber-criminals.

  • If an email comes through, is it addressed to you by name, or does it say ‘Dear/To valued customer’. This can be a sign that the sender does not actually know you, and that it is part of a phishing scam.
  • Authority: Is the message claiming to be from someone official? Cyber-criminals often pose as important people or organisations to trick you into doing what they want.
  • Does the quality of the logos on the emails look bad or slightly different? Scammers will create phishing to try and look official, if designs on email look different, it could indicate that this may be a phishing email.
  • Does the email threaten you? Telling you to act urgently (most likely within the next 24 hours) or there will be consequences or something like this? If this kind of phishing email comes through it’s important to remain calm and not click any links on the email, delete it as soon as you can.
  • Be careful of emails that appear as if they have come from your bank, they should never ask for any personal details from you. If this happens, call your bank immediately to see if it’s really them asking.
  • Has an email come through trying to tempt you to an offer that sounds amazing? If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Make sure that you’re not so enticed by offers that you don’t realise that they’re ‘too good’.

Tips to help prevent a Phishing Attack?

  • Make yourself a harder target by controlling the information about your company that is public. Cyber-criminals use public information about companies to make their phishing emails appear convincing.
  • Ensure your anti-virus and anti-malware software is up to date.
  • Encourage your workforce not to click on any emails they think are suspicious and to either delete them or forward them to your IT support team.
  • Teach your employees the signs of phishing emails so they can avoid opening them.

How can Matrix help?

At Matrix IT we offer a range of Cyber Security services to protect you and your business from cyber-threats such as phishing emails. We can help your organisation become better prepared against Phishing attacks should you be targeted by cyber-criminals, or if you have fallen victim to such an attack then don’t hesitate to email us or call today on 01329 888444.

Matrix Business IT | Company number: 10099930