The rise of the COVID-19 pandemic witnessed the rise of cybersecurity flaws significantly. As the world got stuck under lockdown, people started making the most of online facilities. But, most of them fell under the trap of intensified phishing scams.
In a year, holiday phishing scams number rose to around 67 percent. Now it is considered to be one of the biggest cyber threats to companies and industries, with more than 93 percent of malware attacks is being directed to emails.
With the holiday season at its peak, the chances of a whole new level of these attacks cannot be ignored. These holiday-cyberattacks are basically created to convince people to open emails that come with malware-laden attachments and files. As and when you click on these attachments, your system and network get affected.
So, it is important that you understand how you can remain protected from these phishing scams. You must understand the things to check within your business and personal emails while avoiding infected ones.
Ways To Protect From Holiday Phishing Scams
To go against phishing activities, there are several standard IT security steps to follow. It includes layered approach usage to keep your bases secure. Below mentioned are a few of the important layers that curbs the risk of any kind of data breach:
1. Anti-Malware Settings
You can use anti-malware settings on different platforms like Microsoft 365 for IT security protection. It is one of the vital layers that can assist you in remaining secure from mobile and phishing scams. Not all facilities are on by default. This is why it is important that you check with the same manually to up the protection level of your system.
If you are using Microsoft 364, you can consider changing your settings as mentioned below. Take a look:
- Get malicious website links blocked
- Switch off the auto-forwarding email option
- Suspicious attachments must be blocked right away.
2. Email Spam/ Anti-Phishing Filter
You can reduce the cyberattacks risks by filtering out the suspicious and fraudulent emails from your system. You just need to set up email spam or anti-phishing filters to catch the emails that are affected. They can filter the same even before the same are delivered to your machine. In this way, you can keep your system protected by filtering out the emails that are vulnerable or suspicious.
3. DNS Filter
When it comes to DNS filter, it is basically a form of security protection layer that differentiates your browser and Internet. As and when you put in a specific type of URL or click on a particular link, the respective is going to assess across the available databases and let you know whether it is safe or not. If it is a malicious or suspicious website, then you are going to be alerted about the same. You are going to be directed to a page that warns you rather than directing to the specific URL that is vulnerable to risks.
Email Holiday Phishing Scams That You Need to Check With:
You must let all your employees know about the season phishing scams. There must be a cybersecurity awareness program where all the recognized scams are listed and specified to the employees. To help you out, below mentioned are a few of the common phishing scams that you must have your eye on:
1. Donation or Charity
You might receive emails requesting donations or charity. These emails are fake, and you might receive them in different iterations and forms. The ones who send these emails are masked as a prominent real donation or charity organizer. They use copied logo and mail form to make you feel convincing. These emails are just to trap your employees to donate a sum of money. But, instead, they steal all your credit or debit card details by directing them to malicious sites.
2. Fraud Orders
During the time of holiday season, the online shopping season is at its peak. You might avail offers and discounts from different platforms. It is important that you let your employees know that none of these links should be entertained. Many scammers are taking advantage of the respective situation. They create fake emails that attract employees and make them click the links.
These fake order emails are prepared in such a way that it looks fully real, just like that of Amazon vouchers. So, you need to make sure that your employees are fully aware of the same and they are avoiding clicking on the same. If they click, the malware is going to get downloaded to your system, and this can cost your company’s data big time.
3. Promo and Gift Card Purchase
Another popular phishing email that is witnessed during the holidays is in the form of a promo or gift card. This email might look like that it has been shared by your own company. This can trick your employees into clicking on the respective links.
This type of email does take time as the scammer needs to research the company and get all the details related to the same to make the emails look real. From copying the logo to matching the vouchers just like the company provides, they take care of all to gain the trust of your employees. So, it is important that the employees are noticed about this stuff from before so that they are not spoofed. To help you out, below specified are a few of the ways that can keep your employees protected from this type of phishing scam. Take a look:
- The sender is in need of gift cards at the quickest possible time.
- The sender states that they are unavailable for meetings.
- The sender asks the employees about the gift card numbers.
In any of the above-mentioned situations, the employee must bock the sender right away.
Hopefully, now you are clear about how holidays amplify mobile and online phishing scams and how you can keep yourself protected. Prevention is always better than cure so, always keep yourself updated about these scams and avoid clicking on these vulnerable links at all costs. Have a happy and safe holiday!
An author of Namaste UI, published several articles focused on blogging, business, web design & development, e-commerce, finance, health, lifestyle, marketing, social media, SEO, travel.
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