At Unified Technology Solutions, we get calls from customers who have unwittingly become the victims of Phishing Scams. Inadvertently, someone in their organization had received an email that looks like it has come from a trusted company they do business with only to discover it was not legitimate. 

Whether that’s an email that looks like it’s coming from your bank, a tech support scam, or a fishy social media campaign, cybercriminals have become sophisticated enough to trick even tech-savvy individuals. By being aware of the following top tactics, you can fend off uninvited malware guests:

Before you open any email, carefully check the sender’s address. Is it from the actual company he or she claims?  Often the phisher will misspell the company name by a letter or two.

Hover over links provided in the body of the email. Is the URL legit? You can often tell by once again checking the spelling. The URL will look official, but it will have an extra letter or a different extension.

Read the language of the email carefully. Are there weird line breaks?  Awkwardly-constructed sentences that sound foreign?

And finally, know the typical methods of communication for important organizations. For example, the IRS will never contact you via email. If something doesn’t look right, send an email from your account to the person at the original account and just ask them if they did indeed send you an email.

If it is a personal email, once again, carefully check the sender information. When in doubt, call your healthcare, bank, or other potentially-spoofed organization directly.  PayPal has a dedicated email address to forward spoofs and scammy emails to try to stay on top of these scammers. 

Phishing is spreading to other forms of communication.  It has spread to our cellphones and text messaging now too.  Bonus mobile phone tip: Cybercriminals love spoofing banks via SMS/text message or fake bank apps. Do not confirm personal data via text, especially social security numbers. Again, when in doubt, contact your bank directly.

It’s also very important to have good Anti-Virus/ Anti Malware software on your systems. It’s important to keep it up to date and make certain your anti-malware software updates itself regularly.

 New malware is written and distributed every day, and your computer will quickly become vulnerable if you do not keep up with new malware definitions. If possible, you should configure your software to install updates automatically.

Most professionals agree a multi-layer approach—using not only multiple layers of security technology but also user awareness—helps keep you protected from the bad guys and your own mistakes.  So, take time to check out what you are reading and keep your info safe. 

You can always call on us to come in and get your systems protected.

Your Tech Guys