If you’re a business owner, you’ve most likely been the victim of a phishing attack…regardless of the size of your business. Many business owners believe that hackers mostly target large companies, in part because the largest hacks get significant media attention. However, the reality is that small and medium businesses are also vulnerable to attacks every day, and many of them aren’t prepared.
A phishing attack uses innocent-looking emails to trick people into accidentally downloading virus software on their computers or divulging sensitive information, like passwords or credit card information.
Sound scary? It can be, but we’ve got four tips you can implement right away to help protect yourself and your business.
Use an antivirus program and spam filter. These tools are a critical first step in reducing the ability for phishing attacks to succeed by detecting and stopping fake emails containing viruses from making it to your employees’ inboxes. Installing a firewall is always a good idea, when possible.
Be sure to update software regularly. Each computer or device used by employees should have the most recent version of all software. Every time a software update is released, it includes fixes for vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit. Updating your software helps ensure that you stay one step ahead of a phishing attack.
Protect your browsers. Phishing can often include the impersonation of a trusted website. Hackers count on the fact that people will forget to check the URL to make sure it’s the real thing. Companies can run an extension called HTTPS Everywhere that verifies the URL and security features for all webpages.
Train your team to look for phishing attacks. Your employees can be your biggest vulnerability if they don’t know what to look for, and your biggest strength when they do. It’s important to remind them regularly to be wary of suspicious-looking emails. Some companies even conduct mock phishing attacks to see if their staff can spot them…it’s a great way to keep everyone on their toes.