Hook, Line and Sinker

Tips to prevent hackers from phishing for a way to access your personal or business information

There’s no coincidence that infiltrating confidential internet and digital files is called “phishing”

Hackers know how to bait the hook and pull the rug out from under you, a business or government agency to gain access to any and all information held on servers, in emails, on databases — confidential or otherwise. Undetected, hackers can live comfortably within your system for days, months even years helping themselves to sensitive and confidential information whenever they want.

Be as diligent as professional hackers

Being vulnerable to hackers and scam artists puts passwords, usernames, credit card details, personal and financial information at considerable risk when left unprotected. Not only should hackers be considered professionals at what they do, their expert skill and diligent mindset is a force that needs to be taken seriously on a daily basis. They take hijacking intellectual data and information seriously. Anyone using the internet for communication or maintaining digital files should do the same from government to corporations, small businesses to home offices to families paying bills, shopping online or just keeping in touch with friends and family.

Counter attack measures to strengthen your system’s cyber security

Scammers can be put in their place. Developing a strong and effective IT security policy that everyone puts into practice decreases potential email and data breaches. Include these tips to improve your current directives:

Hook — catchy or urgent subject lines need the most scrutiny

  1. Review current trends in language and phrases typically used in spam emails that invoke concern, anxiety, fear about financial and personal matters in subject lines or messages
  2. Be aware of potential attacks in emails and messages issued in social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ — if a message seems unusual using extreme caution when dealing with these types of incoming communications will protect you or your business

Line — knowledge about trending cyber security attack messages is critical

  1. Hackers are busy everyday developing their craft — consumers, businesses and families need to be diligent about how to recognize and respond to unusual or suspicious incoming messages daily
  2. Have department managers share updates on current scams in person by including the latest phishing techniques and trends hackers are using to steal information from sensitive and confidential areas/platforms

Sinker — DO NOT OPEN those attachments

  1. Identify your business or family internet needs and activities — be specific — so you can confidently identify potential phishing emails and suspicious attachments
  2. Develop and share an IT security policy with everyone on a regular and consistent basis
  3. And even with security software programs in place to keep hackers at bay, staying focused, paying attention and being diligent about not clicking on attachments from unknown and sometimes known sources

When you are completely confident in the source of an email after following these simple tips, you will have greatly decreased the threat of a hacker’s phishing attempts and prevent their spam emails from threatening the security of your personal and business information and digital files.

Best catch of the day — Security Awareness Training

A formal Security Awareness Training program for all employees in your company is a powerful investment. When presented effectively, comprehensive training is worth every penny. Topics covered should include: Phishing, Strong Passwords, Public WiFi, Web and Email Security, Social Engineering, Office Security, Information Protection, Mobile Security, and Social Networking.

There are many security training program products out there in the market so you need to make sure you choose a program that teaches practical skills — this is what will drive real behaviour change with your employees.

Secure Links offers a program, Security Mentor™, which has been successfully implemented into many security packages for our clients. These brief, focused lessons present one topic per module that employees can  absorb easily and access anytime, anywhere to suit their hectic schedules. It’s an extremely effective way to stay on top of current tips, trends and issues facing cyber security.