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How to Identify a Phishing Scam and What Your Employees Need to Know to Keep Your Business Safe.

Updated: Feb 6, 2023

Phishing scams have become increasingly common over the past decade, and it can be difficult to identify when something is a legitimate communication or if it’s a malicious message attempting to steal personal information.

Here are some tips on how to spot a phishing scam:

1. Look for misspellings and strange grammar – Phishers often make mistakes in their writing, so investigate any language that looks strange or incorrect.

2. Watch for suspicious links – Hover your cursor over hyperlinks in an email to see the underlying web page address. If the link is suspicious, don’t click on it. Additionally, watch out for shortened URLs that could conceal malicious websites.

3. Pay attention to requests for personal data - Phishers may attempt to trick you into entering private information such as bank account details or login credentials. Be wary of unsolicited emails asking you to provide this information - no reputable company will make this request via email.

4. Check the sender’s email address – Legitimate companies will always use their official domain name in the “from” field of emails they send out - anything else should raise suspicion. Similarly, be wary of emails from unknown individuals who claim to represent organizations you know well.

5. Look out for generic greetings - Many phishing scams start with generic greetings such as “Dear customer” instead of using your name, which is often a sign that something isn’t quite right about the message you received

6. Look for urgent messages - Phishers often try to create a sense of urgency by telling you that something bad will happen if you don't respond quickly enough (e.g., “your account will be suspended!”). Don't let yourself be rushed into making a decision before verifying whether or not the message is real

7. Avoid clicking attachments - Never open files or download programs from emails unless you are absolutely confident they are genuine and safe to open/download

8. Use antivirus software - Regularly scan your computer with updated antivirus software, which helps filter out malicious attachments and links

9. Utilize two-factor authentication - Enabling two-factor authentication whenever possible adds an extra layer of security against phishing attacks since a hacker would need access both your password and your phone/device in order to log in.

10 .Be vigilant when online shopping – When shopping online, look out for deals that seem too good to be true, check URLs carefully before entering payment details, use secure checkout processes where available, and always read terms & conditions before confirming transactions

By following these simple tips, it’s possible to greatly reduce your chances of falling victim to phishing scams and other malicious attacks online . Remember: stay alert and don't let yourself be fooled by fraudulent messages!

Are you more of a visual learner? Check out our Video and visit our Youtube Channel for more videos on educational issues concerning business IT and Technology support.

We're committed to providing businesses with the highest levels of network security and peace of mind. If you're looking for an IT partner that takes your cybersecurity seriously, contact us today!

About the Author:

Jennifer Foth is the Marketing Director for Applied Integration, a Managed IT Service Provider in Salt Lake City. A mother of two and an Aussiedoodle dog-owner, Jennifer loves to cook, go camping and do DIY projects around the house in her spare time. With over 15 years of marketing experience, she's been with Applied Integration for 5 years and has helped grow the company into what it is today. Funny and witty, Jennifer is a joy to be around and always brings a smile to people's faces.

Applied Integration is a Managed IT Service company that has been providing critical IT solutions and computer support to small businesses for over 30 years. Our founder has a unique understanding of the demands of the business environment and has developed the processes and IT solutions that are critical to keeping businesses like yours running. Partnering with Applied Integration is all about finding the right fit - we're fun, professional, and focused on meeting your specific needs. Let us show you how our experience and expertise can benefit your business.

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