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Six Common Phishing Examples & How To Protect Against Them

The best form of training starts by learning from real-world phishing examples. Week after week there is another company in the news that falls victim to phishing attack. The recent Twilio breach is one of the latest phishing examples to be aware of. Cybercriminals used SMS phishing to target Twilio employees. This is just one example, but so many fall prey to these cyberattacks.

Google states it blocks over 100 million phishing attempts every day, but that still leaves ample room for opportunity. Cyberattacks are rising at an alarming rate, and if you don’t take action to reduce your risk, your chances of being a victim increase significantly. We’ve outlined six common phishing examples to watch out for below, so that you can better identify phishing attempts and not fall victim to them.

1. Suspicious Activity

Cybercriminals like to create a sense of urgency and panic to get you to give up user credentials. Be wary of emails stating suspicious activities on your account, enticing you to click on a link. Verify where the email is coming from. Never click on a link in an email; if there is truly a problem, you’ll find the same information when you log into your account.

2. Personal Information

If you receive an email asking you to provide personal information. Think twice. If an organization needs personal information from you, log into your online account or app and provide it there. Cybercriminals often disguise themselves as legitimate businesses – but that’s often furthest from the truth.

3. Payment Errors

Ever received an email telling you a charge was denied? Cybercriminals may be vying for your credit card or banking information. Never submit credit card information via email. Go to your account portal directly within your application, or call the company to validate any problem with your payment.

4. Vaccine Information

With hot-button topics comes a sense of urgency. Cybercriminals know how to push these buttons by sending formal documents laced with malware. If you don’t know the sender, don’t open an email attachment.

5. Government Impersonation

Cybercriminals may impersonate the U.S. government by sending official-looking documents. Always make sure the email address uses the .gov extension. If you’re not expecting it and an attachment or a link is asking for credentials, it may be a phishing scam. Contact the agency by phone or through their website if you have questions.

6. Free Offers

Everybody loves getting something for free, but an email promising great rewards is always a scam. Cybercriminals use free offers for malicious purposes, hoping to gain access to your personal information. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Are You Prepared To Avoid a Phishing Attack?

The best way to protect against phishing emails is to raise awareness. Learning more about how easy it is to fall for a phishing attack may help people take precautions before clicking. Here are a few things you can do today to help you stay more secure and fight phishing attempts.

Security Awareness Training | Use security awareness training to teach employees the signs of phishing attacks. While many businesses offer security training in some form during the year, it is often only once or twice. In today’s threat landscape, the bare minimum of security training isn’t going to cut it. Businesses need to offer continuous security awareness training to keep best practices top of mind for employees all year round.

Phishing Simulation Tools | Monitor employee knowledge with phishing simulation tools. Putting knowledge to the test is a great way to see if employees can apply what they learn during training to a real-world scenario.

Managed Inbox Detection and Response | Give your employees a way to quickly check and validate of an email is malicious or safe. With Managed Inbox Detection and Response, employees can submit suspicious emails. Within minutes, the reported emails are validated as legitimate communications or classified as potential threats and removed from the company domain. This rapid approach by security experts provides an added level of security against phishing attacks and malware without requiring the involvement of your IT team.

The more you talk about it, the more aware everyone in your organization will be. It’s the best way to keep information safe. To learn more about phishing attacks, read this helpful infographic on what every business should know about phishing. Ready to boost your security and fight phishing? Contact a TPx expert today and see how we can help.

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