Broadleaf Services - December 2019

YOUR MANAGED SERVICES PARTNER

December 2019

‘Tis the Season for Phishing

How to Discern a Fake Email From an Authentic One

questions. Be wary of misspelled words, misused words, odd punctuation, and grammatical errors — although these emails have become much more linguistically correct over the years. If a cybercriminal does gain access to your information, it can be very time- consuming and expensive to stop. Individuals and businesses can lose thousands of dollars. During the holiday season, these criminals get especially creative in finding tempting and convincing ways to turn happy holidays into bah humbug! What You Can Do When you receive email messages, or sometimes phone calls, the best way to protect yourself is to visit the company’s website directly in your browser, manually typing the address (not using the link) or by calling the company directly. Informed users are the best defense against hackers. To that end, Broadleaf offers ongoing training for companies. This includes user testing to ensure the training was practical. We have also worked with our email partners, such as Microsoft Office 365, to ensure we have secure email rules and configurations set up to assist in catching these threats before they reach the intended recipient. Finally, Broadleaf Services also offers 24/7 help-desk support should you be uncertain about the legitimacy of an email you receive.

supposedly informs you of a required password update but then directs you to another site that requests personal and often financial information. Or the fake email may impersonate a C-level person at a company and ask an employee there to wire money to an account when, in fact, the account belongs to the cybercriminal. Sender Email Address Even if the email initially looks familiar and legitimate, it is always a good idea to hover your mouse over the contact name and look at the full email address of the sender. Be wary of any discrepancies. Also, be sure to check the email header information and where the email came from. If they don’t match, you’re at risk. Email Content Look at the subject line closely. If it seems written to worry you, scare you, or to require urgent action, it probably is a scam! Some examples of these subject lines are, “Your account has been suspended,” or “I need your help.” Others might say “Urgent Action Required” or “Missed Delivery Attempt.” The scam email may include links you should never click on. To verify, hover your mouse over the link. A small box will pop up that shows the actual URL the link is directing you to. If it looks even remotely suspicious or unrelated to the sender, don’t click. Be wary of any email asking for personal information, and look at the content of the email. If it contains too much industry jargon, don’t respond to any

‘Tis the season, and holiday sales are making their way into pop-up ads and emails. Although most of them are well- intentioned, email phishing is one of the most threatening seasonal security challenges. Cybercriminals attempt to take advantage of our expectations to receive giveaways, discounts, and e-cards and our habit of spending more money than we normally do. In the past, cybercriminals would send out blanket emails to hundreds of people, hoping to trick as many as possible into falling for their scams. Today, criminals send very targeted emails to potential victims. They use all the tools at their disposal, much as a corporate salesperson does, to find out as much personal information as possible in order to target the individual or company. They use Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more to find names, job titles, addresses, email addresses, neighbors, colleagues, and friends in their attempts to target their phishing emails. Cybercriminals often impersonate easily recognized corporations like Amazon and Microsoft or another company you might have an account with, like your bank or a credit union. They may send a phishing email that

–Ty Cornwall

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