Have You Been Checking Hyperlinks Before You Click Them?
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Your Easy, Foolproof Tip To Stop Email Scams
You don’t need to buy anything to get this working for you because you already have it – your team! By educating and reminding your team of this simple step, they become your businesses ‘first deadlock’ against email scammers.
BECs – Email Scams
A very successful form of attack are BECs – Business Email Compromise scams. As the name suggests, people try to compromise your businesses data or your network security via email.
However, whilst the delivery method relies on technology, people ‘issues’ are what make attacks successful. Issues such as busy teams, busy trading periods, holiday periods, desire to save money, organisational structure and/or lack of employee awareness.
Conversely, a HUGE advantage you have over scammers is YOUR PEOPLE, not technology!
Check Hyperlink Pathways BEFORE You ‘Click’
Whilst you absolutely need a firewall, anti-virus and email filtering solutions to protect your technical systems, these won’t stop emails with legitimate hyperlinks. However, your team can!
Educate and keep reminding your team to double-check details BEFORE replying to an email. Even if they think they know the sender, links need to be checked. The landscape of cyber security has changed, unfortunately. To be truly safe your team needs to adopt a ‘suspicious’ approach to all emails with hyperlinks.
Firstly, most hyperlinks appear in abbreviated format on screen. Like the tip of an iceberg, it’s what’s ‘underneath’, or what’s not shown that’s the danger! Also, a hyperlink can be edited to fool readers, with displayed text having nothing to do with its end destination. For example, this link: hellokitty. If you click on it, it will take you to itro’s ‘IT & Cloud Solutions’ webpage, the company I work for.
This shows why scammers rely on human elements, not technical tools, to be successful. Unless your employees are security aware and take the time to read hyperlinks, a single click is all it takes to undermine their device, your data, or your network security.
How To Check Hyperlinks
Check hyperlinks by hovering your mouse cursor over the link to view and read its full path. That one step alone can be all it takes to expose a malicious email and save your business/Firm money.
NB: Not everyone knows how to check hyperlinks. And sometimes people don’t ask for help because they feel embarrassed or worry questions will make them look stupid. If you’re not sure of a team member’s technical aptitude, I suggest you take the proactive approach. Take a quiet moment when the person is alone, or out of ear shot of others, and show them how to do it. They’ll appreciate your tact, and they’ll become another proactive link in your cyber security defense.
Being ‘Aware’ Takes Extra Time But Saves $
Encourage your team to take the time they need to properly cross-examine emails. Any email requesting sensitive or confidential information, or money, should be qualified before being acted on. Encourage them to take a moment to ring the person making the request. Or open a NEW EMAIL – do not hit ‘reply’ to the initial email – to query the request.
It’s also a good idea to reassure your team you won’t mind them ringing you, even at odd times, to double-check a request. Let them know you’d rather be disturbed in a meeting, or during your holidays, than find out your business has been scammed of money because someone was too frightened to call, or too afraid of looking dumb.
Education and a supportive work environment will give your team the insight and confidence they need to be your first ‘deadlock’ against BEC attack.