There is nothing more important than protecting your data. Whether personal information or business data, any leaked information could come back to harm you. This is why it’s so important to do the right things to protect yourself.
But when it comes to protecting business data it doesn’t always come down to having expensive IT solutions. Sometimes some of the best solutions can come from the human side, not the technology side.
Technology Fighting Phishing
We want to start off by saying that having some kind of anti-virus, anti-malware, and other programs to help keep you safe is essential. Many options are cheap or free and not using them is a mistake.
However, we want to point out that technology cannot always save you.
A seatbelt will not save you if you are being a horribly unsafe driver.
Technology is there to aid you, but you still need to operate safely or the technology cannot fix all the problems. Things like spam filters do help remove dangers, but there are threats that get through your security. If you blindly trust technology to save you then there is an almost certainty that you will run into trouble eventually.
Using the Human Side to Fight Phishing
These malware programs usually come through from opening something, or otherwise inviting them into your system.
Phishing techniques are more social engineering than they are advanced technology. In fact, most attackers aren’t even skilled hackers. They can access a black market and buy the programs that will hurt you, and all they have to do is get that program on to your network.
This is why we always think that creating a good cyber security culture is more important than having the best IT in the world.
So here are some tips to help you when fighting phishing tactics. Some may be simple, but when incorporated together you make your risk of attacks much lower.
- Never click on things you don’t recognize. This goes for emails, webpages, pop-up forms, login pages and anything else that you aren’t expecting. Many of these things are created to put something into your system. If you see an “allow X program to make changes to your system, you better be sure that you know what the program is.
- Confirm with people in the real world. There are times that attackers are able to change contacts in your email so that you think you are talking with someone you know. When this happens the attacker might ask for payment for a service or something that look legitimate. Make sure to call or personally talk with that business before sending payment. It can be hard to tell what’s real when all communications come over email.
- Talk with IT when you don’t know. This is one of the biggest things that people skip. Nobody wants to seem stupid so people will try and navigate things on their own without understanding what they are doing. This can cause big problems. If you are confused, or concerned about something then talk with IT! Do not try and figure it out on your own. This can cause big problems.
- Learn common tactics. We all know the Nigerian prince scam. If you can spot other common phishing tactics as easily as that one then you can avoid them. Always remember that knowledge is power!
For more basic security tips be sure to check out our article on cyber security tips for the average person.