Important Facts Employees Need to Know about Phishing Awareness & Safe Online Shopping

Important Facts Employees Need to Know about Phishing Awareness & Safe Online Shopping

All your best IT security efforts can be bypassed by a malicious piece of malware due to an unsuspecting click on a phishing email or fraudulent shopping ad. The human factor is often overlooked when it comes to network cybersecurity, with companies focusing more on applications and software.

Hackers count on that human factor and work hard to trick victims into falling for phishing or spear phishing attacks or clicking on a “sounds too good to be true” online shopping deal. If employees aren’t regularly trained in cybersecurity awareness, they can leave your technology infrastructure vulnerable, without even knowing it.

Phishing is still the number one method of delivering malware, viruses, and other threats to your technology infrastructure. That’s because it often works and can potentially bypass other security by getting the user to download the malicious script. And online shopping is fast becoming another popular method to infiltrate a network with malware, especially during the holiday shopping season.

76% of organizations say they experienced a phishing attack last year. (Barkly)

At Twin State Technical Services, it’s our goal to ensure all our clients are fully protected from all types of cyber threats, and that includes those directed at staff through email and malicious online content. We provide not only cyber security tips but also regular, comprehensive IT security training so employees know what to watch out for.

What can you watch for and how can you tell if your network is fully secure?

We’ve got some important awareness information both on phishing and online shopping that your employees need to know. Plus, we’ll tell you how to find out if your network is as secure as it needs to be.

How Can I Tell If My Business IT Security is Sufficient?

Many data security systems that were once strong can become vulnerable simply because of the dynamic nature of technology. Hackers are always coming up with new ways to exploit operating system and software vulnerabilities, and the manufacturers are continually trying to keep up.

How can you tell were you stand when it comes to network security?

A popular service that Twin State Technical Services offers is an External Security Vulnerability Scan for only $299. It examines an organization’s IT infrastructure and external security. This audit determines whether you have the proper IT controls in place to protect corporate assets and ensure data integrity and security.

Once the scan is complete, one of our experts will meet with you via web conference and personally review results and action plans to secure any vulnerable areas of your IT security.

Ways to Keep Employees Safer Online (and While on Your Network)

While most of us think we can easily spot a fake email, the phishing scammers are getting more creative, using personalization and other tricks to get their dangerous malware downloaded. Often in the bustle of the workday, defenses can go down.

Malware and viruses that can lead to data breaches are delivered in a number of ways:

  • Phishing emails
  • Social media ads
  • Emails containing shopping links that go to dangerous webpages
  • Mobile apps that aren’t legitimate
  • Phishing texts containing links (a growing area of phishing attacks)

One way to keep your team alert is to continue ongoing cybersecurity training and have them regularly review tips to stay on the alert while going through their inbox and shopping online.

Print out and share these cyber safety tips with your team to help ward off any unsuspecting clicks that could breach your network.

Visit Online Shopping Sites Directly, Rather than by Link

Phishing pros often use the logo of a popular store, sending emails with promises of either great deals or pretending to send a receipt for a big-ticket item you didn’t buy, then inserting a disguised link to a malicious site.

Don’t click those email or text links, instead type in the URL of the site and visit it directly. That way you know you’re actually going to the real thing and not a spoofed page.

Don’t Open an Email Attachment without Scanning it First

One way to keep from downloading malware attached to a phishing email is to have a strong email scanning software on every device (including computers and mobile devices). This can often stop a dangerous attachment in its tracks before it infects your system.

Use Pre-Paid Cards for Online Purchases

With so many retail data breaches occurring each year, you don’t have to have a system vulnerability to become a victim of stolen credit card details. A safety tip is to use pre-paid credit cards, instead of those attached to your bank account, for online purchase, including those for business.

Apply Patches and Updates Regularly

You’d be surprised how many people leave patches and updates unapplied because they don’t want to interrupt their work. While they can cause a little disruption, the security benefit is absolutely worth the slight delay. These operating system and software updates address newly discovered security vulnerabilities that can leave you open for hacks.

Use Available Cybersecurity Resources

There are multiple government websites that offer a number of cybersecurity resources such as:

  • Cyber incident reporting
  • Policy templates and security information
  • Materials promoting IT security awareness
  • Cybersecurity implementation details for various industries

Click here for a list of cybersecurity resources you can use to keep your data infrastructure safe.

You can find more ways to stay safe while online shopping here.

Find Out Where Your IT Security Stands

An infection and breach of your network can have costly consequences. Don’t let one wrong click cost you thousands of dollars. Contact Twin State Technical Services for a complete an External Security Vulnerability Scan today to see where your cybersecurity stands.

Questions? Call or contact us anytime for expert advice, 563-441-1504.