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Helping employees to spot cyber scams

Cyber scams are rising and criminals are getting smarter, so businesses need to be more vigilant than ever before to protect their IT assets. IT security shouldn’t just be an issue for management – staff at all levels need to be trained. This article explains how businesses can prepare their staff for inevitable scam attempts.

If employees know the basic rules of cyber protection, then businesses are minimizing their risk of whole systems being infected and the associated down time.

Employees can be targeted by email, and often don’t know that the message is a scam. Phishing tests have found that up to 90 percent of staff in large companies open scam messages without realizing. Staff needs to be aware of the signs of spam. Below are some signs that a message isn’t real for employers to share with staff. Employees should be informed that they should ignore messages like the ones below and report them to the IT department.

Mistakes in cyber scams

Although scam messages are becoming more sophisticated, they are often created by people who don’t have English as their first language. Because of this, grammatical errors are likely, and are a telltale sign of an email that’s not genuine. Because messages are often sent to thousands of recipients at once, other mistakes might include a gap where the person’s name should be, or the name in another font. People spotting an error should assume that the message isn’t legitimate.

Brand names used in cyber scams

Cyber criminals rely on the value people place in well-known brands, so pretend their emails are from companies that people know and trust, such as major banks. You know and trust. Your bank, for example. Employees should always question why an email from a company they use is coming into their work inbox, and check the hyperlink or the sender’s email address. In scam emails, these will be hidden. When they are un-hidden, they will show a random email or internet address which makes it clear that the message isn’t from the company it claims to be from.

Urgency utilized with cyber scams

Criminals urge people to take action by using language that makes them feel it’s important to act quickly. Words such as ‘urgent’ or ‘act now’ are common. The approach can make readers act before considering what might happen.

What can people do to avoid falling for cyber scams?

There are some simple ways that people can avoid an attack. Firstly, if people are asked for passwords or bank details, they should delete the message immediately and report it to IT. Secondly, people receiving a message that seems to be from a known business, they should get in touch with the company directly to check. People should never reply or click on any links. A third way to check the validity of a message is to paste the text into a search engine. There are websites that can check facts and confirm whether your message is illegitimate.

What else can businesses do?

Information security should be a key concern for businesses. As well as making sure staff are prepared for scams, businesses should make sure they have the relevant, up-to-date anti-virus software installed. Professional businesses such as 247 Tech Team can help with this and can perform risk assessments as well as diagnosing and repairing issues.

Businesses should assess risks regularly and implement procedures to manage risks. They should make sure staff are fully trained and competent in avoiding cyber crime. Data protection should also be a company-wide issue, understood by all employees, not just the management tiers. Looking after customer information and protecting sensitive data should be a priority.

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