Cybersecurity may sound like something that only IT groups have to worry about, but it's not. The vast majority of cybersecurity “hacks” can be traced back to an individual making a mistake like clicking on a bad hyperlink or opening an attachment in a bad email. Many IT groups expend a great amount of effort trying to prevent these hacks from happening. However, all of the effort they spend and all the technology they implement relies on individuals doing their part as well.
Here are a few tips to help prevent you from being the victim of a cybersecurity attack:
1. Not all emails from your friends are actually from your friends.
- Cybercriminals pose as friends and coworkers to try and gain information or access from you.
- You can check the email address (not just the name) from which the email is sent. If it is truly a friend or coworker, the email address should be familiar. If not, this is a potentially dangerous email.
2. Not all hyperlinks are what they seem.
- Cybercriminals send hyperlinks that look harmless in an attempt to trick you.
- Look for misspellings in hyperlinks.
- If you are sent a hyperlink that says it is to Amazon, but is spelled amazzon.com (notice the two z’s?) you should not follow it.
- Cybercriminals use urgency to get you to make a bad decision because you think you have to do something quickly.
- If you receive an email from your “boss” stating that they need you to purchase something for them because they are in an important meeting and the company will reimburse you; proceed with extreme caution. This is probably just an opportunity for you to give away your credit card information.
It is always easier to spend a little time up front looking into the source or context of the email, than trying to repair the damage afterwards. So, the next time that you get a not so credible email, think before you click!
Want to learn more about email scams? The ICBA and the Financial Services Information Sharing Analysis Center are hosting a webinar next week on the impact of business email compromise on community banks. Scheduled for 1 p.m. (EDT) Tuesday, Oct. 15, the webinar will cover how to defend against these scams and will provide attendees a quick guide on safeguarding customers.1
Stay tuned for our next blog post about how to work safely on your computer, tablet or mobile device in public.