Avoid phishing scams by focusing on digital security

You can avoid phishing scams when you pay attention to who is sending you emails or calling your phone. Just know that one slip-up can spell doom for your business.

If your website is hacked, you may be down for good. Unless you have tremendous, personal support from a provider, chances are your crisis won’t be readily addressed.

But the team at MCG is here to provide you with assistance and information.

This week, Safer Internet Day took place on Tuesday February 9. And we thought it would be a good idea to give you a quick review for staying on top of your digital security. So here are some helpful tips to help you stay secure.

Always check the ‘from’ box in an email

Here’s a big way you can avoid phishing scams at the start. Make sure the email you received is actually from the person who says it’s from.

Have you ever received an email from your boss with an urgent subject line and a message to reply with your phone number or other personal information?

The email will have your boss’ name in the “from” section, but you should look closer.

Just because the name is correct, the email address could lead somewhere different. The best thing you can do to avoid phishing scams is to trash these emails before you even open them.

Check hyperlinks before you click on them

You can avoid phishing scams easily by not clicking on links within suspicious emails. Every browser that you use will display link address before you click on them.

Sometimes scammers will dress up an email to look like it comes from an official source like FedEx, AT&T, or CNN.

But look closer! If there are any links, you can hover your mouse over them and it’ll reveal a small box in the lower-left corner of your browser.

That box will always tell you what URL is attached to that link. If you see anything else other than a .com that matches the source of the email, then trash it immediately.

avoid phishing scams from bad actors

You can avoid phishing scams by following the ‘cause and effect rule.’ This means you should always double-check messages, links, texts, or calls if you didn’t request them or expect them.

Make your passwords hard-to-guess & change them at least twice per year

We all know the joke about people who use passwords like “password” or “1234password” but it’s a real problem that still exists. So the solution here is easy: change your dang password! There are lots of helpful tools available that can help you create strong passwords and help you make sure that your accounts aren’t compromised.

There are apps like 1Password, LastPass, and Keeper that help you manage multiple passwords and can update them for you regularly or if anything is found in a security breach.

Google Chrome also has a password manager that monitors your accounts and lets you know when they should be updated.

Additionally, Apple products can automatically create and save strong passwords for you when you create accounts.

Watch out for bad actors on social media

You might get friend requests all the time or messages from accounts that seem like real people. After all, you might be growing your personal or business reach on sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

But what could actually be happening is people could be trying to engage with you in a way that scrapes personal information from you.

People can create fake accounts and then send friend requests to many victims. Once they become your friend, they can scrape personal information, connect with your relatives, or send you unsolicited messages with malicious links.

Always make sure that the person who is sending you a friend request is trusted. My rule is to request to become friends with someone in a verbal conversation.

If you are running a business profile, it’s best to stay diligent and avoid phishing scams by not engaging with suspicious conversations.

Make sure you screen your calls and text messages

Lastly, one of the most important ways to avoid phishing scams is by making sure you keep your phone secure.

Robo-calls and text messages started in the early 2000’s but have exploded in the 2010’s. Scammers send mass texts from dummy numbers, or even numbers belonging to real people.

These messages will often contain malicious links that will try to have you enter personal information.

It’s very tricky to screen these kinds of messages, but there is a simple solution to this called the ‘cause and effect rule.’ This rule can be very helpful in helping you avoid phishing scams.

avoiding phishing scams with the right tools.

Avoid phishing scams by staying on your toes. Although hackers can be quite tricky, these five rules will be very helpful for you when you’re monitoring your digital security. Abstract vector created by katemangostar – www.freepik.com

Closing thoughts

As we become more connected on the internet, it’s become harder to avoid phishing scams as criminals have become more sophisticated. If you remember one piece of advice from this article it’s that you should remember the ‘cause and effect’ rule.

You should know that anything you receive should come to you because you wanted it. This doesn’t apply to every situation, but it can be helpful to remember in most situations.

If you receive a message, you should know whether or not your requested it or expected it.

When it comes to your business’ website, you can always leave the security to McQuillen Creative Group.

We keep backups of your site and records, plus we keep your security tight and your site up-to-date. You can relax in knowing your website is always up to date without worry from you or your staff. We can take it from there.

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McQuillen Creative has been in website management game for over 25 years and we want to help keep your business secure.

Do you want to take the technical stress out of having a website and avoid phishing scams? Our website management services give you peace of mind at the right price.

We offer month-to-month packages that scale with the needs of our clients. GIVE US A CALL and let’s see how we can make your website and data more secure.

McQuillen Creative Group, Inc | 423 S Main St, Suite 1

Aberdeen, SD 57401 | 605.226.3481