Businesses lost out on $4.2 billion due to cyber security scams in 2020. Employees and business owners alike expose themselves to online attackers every day. If you’ve been online for any period of time, you’ve probably run into a few scams yourself.
It seems fairly basic, but hackers put a lot of time and effort into creating scenarios to trick people into giving up their information. Scammers replicate online stores down to the fake terms and conditions at the bottom of the page. Emails are copied and appear complete with real company logos and branding. Even more, sneaky pop-ups and attachments trap users swiftly with the simple click of a button.
All it takes is one mistake for cybercriminals to get ahold of everything you have stored on your work device. This means everything from personal data and pictures to corporate financial information and records is up for grabs. But there are ways to avoid cybersecurity scams if your team is careful.
8 Quick & Easy Ways To Avoid Cybersecurity Scams
Are you taking the proper precautions when it comes to securing your business’s online presence? Here are a few ways your employees can avoid falling victim to a cyber scam.
1. Keep Your Internet Connection Secure
Remote work isn’t going anywhere any time soon. More than 4.7 million people work outside the office at least half the time in the U.S. This is why it’s so important to keep your connection secure. Whether your employees are at home or on the move, it’s crucial to do what you can to keep your business’s data safe. All it takes to expose data is one shared connection in a cafe or misguided click of the mouse. Even an accidental link to an unsecured network can be costly.
Your employees should:
- Have proper training
- Run a firewall at all times
- Consistently update passwords
- Add a virtual private network (VPN)
- Encrypt all documents
- Keep a spam filter on
- Shut down devices when not in use
There’s internet security, and then there are cybersecurity solutions with Waterdog Computer Works. Contact us today to get started.
2. Watch Out For Phishing Scams
Even with spam filters, sometimes phishing emails come through. The real danger is when they appear and read closely to a verified sender. Employees should always be wary of replying to emails outside of their internal community. Even if they believe they’re responding to a client, it’s always good to double-check emails and look for other signs, including:
- Blatant misspellings
- Grammar errors
- Suspicious email domains
- Odd signatures
- Uncharacteristic wording and phrases
- Sloppy logos and trademarks
Your employees should go directly to you or the contact of your choice if they run into any trouble.
3. Shop Safely Online
About 49 million online shoppers fell victim to some form of identity theft in 2020. Employees who handle extremely sensitive data like financial and co-workers’ information should avoid shopping from their work devices entirely.
However, you should inform employees about the risks and what to look out for. The following are tips to know before making an online purchase:
- Check the URL to ensure it’s legitimate
- Make sure there’s contact information available
- Read reviews and testimonials
- Listen to firewall and browser warnings
- Use tools like Whois and Google Transparency Report to check it out
- Look for poorly designed or written websites
- See if the company has a social media presence
These are all quick tasks you and your employees can do before making an expensive mistake.
4. Update Devices With The Latest Security Software
Don’t fall behind on maintaining your business’s security software. You may not think about it often, but you and your team should run a security check every single day. Additionally, your business should schedule regular updates for firewall and antivirus software – especially if you have remote workers. Clicking in and out of different links, opening several attachments, and other factors can affect your company’s online safety and impact how devices perform.
5. Keep Business Communications Internal When Possible
You and your employees may use business emails for everything. You subscribe to news outlets, industry-related content, and respond to clients every day. However, it’s crucial to remain cognizant of who you talk to and who has access to your inbox. Signing up for a few marketing emails isn’t a crime. But as you give out your work email freely, you leave yourself vulnerable to hackers. Keep to business matters when using work devices, and tell your workers to do the same. They can always use a throwaway email on a personal device for other communications.
6. Never Give Out Personal Information Online
Understandably, there are instances where you or your organization may need to offer some personal information. As an example, online shopping requires payment, meaning you need to enter a credit or debit card number. When making a purchase through a trusted and secure payment site, this is normal. What’s not typical is receiving an email or chat asking for any type of acutely personal data. A few examples include the following:
- Bank account or routing numbers
- Social security number
- Credit or debit card numbers
- Wire transfers
- Cash App, Venmo, Zelle, or other third-party payment data
Let your team know that whether they think it’s a cyber scammer or bot, it’s best to inform their supervisor, report the message or email, and block the sender.
7. Never Open Unknown Links Or Attachments
Your entire company should be careful opening any emails or messages that aren’t recognized. A click on a corrupted link or attachment even for a second can give a hacker access to business information. Again, if anyone in your company notices an odd-looking email, they need to report it immediately. Simply deleting the email doesn’t get rid of the level of exposure. The right people within your organization, like your IT department, need to know to handle it right away.
8. Ask Questions Before You Take Action
If employees are ever concerned about what to do in a situation related to cybersecurity scams, train them with a quick course. This may mean talking to your IT team or managers to get on the same page. Addressing the root cause of the issue is only the beginning. It’s more important to tackle the problem with cybersecurity solutions than point the finger at someone else.
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Uncovering a breach in data is a frustrating experience. It can leave you feeling helpless, violated, and wishing you had done more. Don’t wait until it’s too late to take action against cyber threats. You can’t completely prevent others from taking steps to steal your information. However, you can improve the way you present yourself online.