Phishing

Phishing

Are you sure you or your business won’t get phished or hacked because you and your employees know better? Read these three phishing statistics and think again.

  • 76% of businesses reported being a victim of a phishing attack in the last year (Source:  retruster).
  • Phishing is the leading cause of data breaches, accounting for a whopping 90% of them (Source: retruster).
  • The average user received an average of 16 phishing emails per month in 2017 (Source: Alert Logic).
What is phishing?

Phishing is a fraudulent communication attempt to try to steal confidential or personal information such as credit card details, passwords, online banking logins, usernames, and more. 

Recognise phishing attempts

Whether you are an individual, small business or part of a large corporation, phishing affects everyone.

Phishing emails used to be easy to recognise as they were poorly written or contained spelling errors; however, nowadays, phishing emails are becoming sophisticated. It’s important to realise that the phishing communication may look very similar to typical email messages from your bank or local government agencies; therefore, it is imperative when you or your employees are asked for personal or confidential information you double-check the request is legit.

Generally, it is rare to receive a request online for the following:

  • usernames, PINs, passwords or security questions and answers
  • request to confirm important information such as credit card details
  • immediate payment requests 

If a message seems suspicious to you, contact the person, or organisation who sent the message to confirm the request is legitimate. Equally important, make sure you contact the business or person in questions through a different source than the message (i.e. go onto the bank’s website and click on the contact details rather than using the contact us link in the suspicious email).

Steps to take if you receive a phishing email or text

If you get an email or a text message that asks you to click on a link or open an attachment, first ask yourself this question: do I have an account or business with the company or know the person that contacted me?

  • If the answer is no, it could be a phishing scam. If you are unsure, review the confidential information listed above that is generally not requested via online communications. If you determine the message is a scam report it to the Australian Cyber Security Centre and then delete it.
  • If the answer is yes, contact the company directly by using a phone number or website you searched for yourself online just to be sure. Never use the contact information in the suspicious email to contact the business.

When it comes to providing information online or opening an attachment, always double-check it before you take any actions.

Four ways to protect yourself from phishing

1. Use antivirus software for your computer or device. 

2. Set up automatic updates for your mobile phone’s software system. 

3. Use multi-factor authentication (requiring two or more different credentials to log in to your account) for your home and work accounts. Multi-factor authentication credentials can be:

  • a passcode you get via text message or email
  • entering details into an authentication app or voice system
  • a fingerprint, face, or retina scan

Using multi-factor authentication makes it harder for cybercriminals to log in to your accounts even if they gain access to your usernames or passwords.

4. Back up your PC and phone data. Copy your files (including photos) to an external hard drive or cloud storage system. Equally important, make sure your backup is not directly connected to your home or office network, preferably a backup should be offsite or online to provide a secure second location for your data to be housed.

If you accidentally click on a phishing link or provide confidential details online or on the phone contact the Australia Cyber Security Hotline for help on 1300 CYBER1 (1300 292 371).

Contact Hassle Free IT for IT security and cloud storage

If you have questions about which anti-virus software is right for you or your business, or if you are unsure if your antivirus software is protecting you appropriately, contact Hassle Free IT. We are happy to advise on the right antivirus software for you to ensure your devices are protected. 

In addition to providing IT security advice, Hassle Free IT provides advice on cloud storage options and will set up your cloud storage system if needed. Contact Hassle Free IT today on 1300 367 047 to have all your cybersecurity and data protection needs looked after. Servicing Werribee, Geelong, the Surf Coast and Bellarine Peninsula, Hassle Free IT is your local IT security and IT support experts. 

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