In the Business world, we use our technology very frequently. Technology makes our life easier when it comes to completing our business tasks. But, there are some things we should keep in mind and look out for as we go about our daily business.
One of the major and primary ways we communicate, for business and personal reasons, is email. Due to this being a heavily used tool by many, it has become one of the main ways cyber criminals attack individuals and companies. Email can be used to spread malware, spam, as well as phishing attacks.
What You Should Look Out For:
Be sure you know who you are responding to. Emails can be intercepted, meaning that who you sent the email to does not receive it and a third party takes over. Double-checking that the address you originally sent the email to is the same that responds is a simple way to play it safe.
Never give out private/ confidential information through email such as your Social Security Number. As emails can be intercepted, this information can be taken. Keep the sharing of sensitive information to a minimum.
Opt for a Security System attachment for your email to encrypt your emails that may contain sensitive information. Also, spam filters and anti-virus software are good resources to take advantage of.
Refrain from opening attachments that are sent by unknown senders.
If you receive an email that you were not expecting or it has odd misspellings or improper grammar, proceed with caution.
Social Engineering is the art of exploiting human psychology to gain access to systems or data instead of breaking in or using hacking techniques. This is the simplest way that cyber attackers have found to steal your information, simply by tricking the user.
What You Should Look Out For:
Receiving an email from a coworker or personal friend and it seems odd. This could be in a language or with the use of grammar that they do not usually use. Also, if the email asks for information that you believe that person already knows.
Fake News: The message of the email is that you have won something that seems too good to be true, such as the lottery or an extravagant vacation.
Bogus Phone Call: The caller may claim that they are with a Government Agency or that they are a vendor/employee of a trusted external company and request information. Threats of jail time or penalty payments may even be used as a scare tactic. Another scenario of a bogus phone call could be the caller asking for your password because they need to handle a technical issue related to your account. A legitimate organization will never request your password that you use to login.
Urgent Messages or Scare Tactics:
By creating the strong sense of urgency, the cyber attacker makes the user feel they have to decide quickly. This may cause the user to make a mistake or act in a way they would usually not.
Receiving an email or phone call that implies there has been a change to your wire instructions at the last minute. The cyber attacker may then request you to change your original plans to still meet the deadline.
Receiving a phone call, text, or an email that alerts you that your account is suspended and that you will have to follow their link or tell them over the phone your personal information to update and unlock your account.
In conclusion, technology makes doing business more efficient. However, please be aware of the possible dangers and how to be proactive so that you do not experience the consequences of falling victim to cyber criminals.
Erieview Title Agency's Policy regarding Wire Instructions.
Please look to ORT's Wire Fraud Protection Plan for a safe route when Wiring Funds or dealing with important and sensitive information.