How to Avoid Email Scams: Training Employees on Phishing Prevention

March 30, 2022
 |  IT Solutions  |  Security Tips

Email phishing has become a lucrative way for scammers to get information and make money. Here’s how you can avoid online scams in an ever-changing digital environment.

Stay Informed

Phishing scammers can adjust and adapt quickly to different tactics. When they find out one approach is no longer working, they pivot and try another. Email scams are constantly changing, but staying informed about recent and more advanced attempts helps you avoid them. 

Keep Your Team Trained

Think of phishing prevention like a home security system: A potential burglar is trying to break into your home, but you have the power to turn them away by simply deleting an email before opening it.

Working with your team to learn about online scams ensures your business is secured at the start. Individuals  are usually the first point of contact through a phishing email. People usually open an email  without suspicion, yet it ends up being a phishing attempt. Teaching your team phishing detection  including how to notice and report email scams is essential to keeping your business safe

Think Before You Click

Taking a moment to verify an email address is from a legitimate sender is an excellent first step to verifying the legitimacy of an email. Do you recognize the sender’s name? Does the email address include a company name? Sometimes email scams will frame an email address to look very similar to a CEO’s or another employee of the company. Identifying a phishing attempt out of an otherwise seemingly harmless email takes a keen eye. 

Use common sense when you’re going through your inbox. For example, would a CEO directly contact a lower-level employee? In most cases, the answer is no, so a lower-level employee should heavily scrutinize any message from an individual in higher management. 

Check Your Accounts Regularly 

Checking your email accounts, especially your access to them and your sent folders, is another step you can take to protect against online scams. If an attempt is successful on occasion, it will give the scammer access to your email, which they can then use to forward their phishing attempt to your contacts, making it appear more legitimate. 

Use Firewalls 

You should have two firewall types to minimize phishing attempts: a desktop firewall and a network firewall. A desktop firewall is software-based, while a network firewall is hardware-based. When used together, they greatly minimize the potential for phishing attempts and hackers to get through to your team, minimizing the number of emails that can be misinterpreted. 

Avoid Pop-Ups

Hidden in plain sight, some phishing attempts are often disguised as pop-ups.Disabling pop-ups on your web browsers will keep these attempts at bay. Occasionally, a pop-up may get through and be clicked on. Whether clicking on the pop-up was intentional or by accident, closing it via the small “x” in the top corner is essential to phishing prevention. 

If you think your business could be a target for email phishing, reach out to Sentry Communications, a trusted ​​commercial security systems company, at 866-573-6879 to find out how we can help you secure your workplace, keeping your team and business safe.