Phishing alert – protect yourself from online scams
Phishing scams are getting more sophisticated. Staying alert to common threats and increasing your awareness is crucial for businesses operating online – especially during peak shopping seasons when online activity is at its highest.
Here are some tips to avoid getting caught out by a phishing scam.
What is phishing?
Phishing is a type of cyberattack where victims receive an email or text message from what they think is a trusted source, but is actually a clever fake designed to trick them into sharing sensitive information like usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, or other confidential data. This data can then be exploited for fraud, identity theft or other malicious purposes.
How to identify a phishing scam
Phishing emails are easy to spot if you know what to look for. Keep an eye open for:
- Spelling mistakes or bad grammar
- An unfamiliar or strange sender email
- A strange URL
- A sense of urgency to take action
How to protect yourself from phishing
- Be suspicious of urgent requests
- Don’t open unexpected attachments or follow links
- Never send personal or financial information via email
- Use two-factor authentication
- Educate your team on how to identify a phishing email
- Put email spam filters in place
- When uncertain, confirm directly with your provider
What to do if you have fallen for a phishing scam
If you have fallen victim to a phishing attack, here are some immediate steps you should take:
- Change any passwords that were affected
- Run a virus scan to ensure your device hasn’t been infected with Malware
- Report the attack to the business the email pretended to be from
- If your credit card details were compromised, cancel them immediately and call your bank’s fraud support line
- Enable two-factor authentication as an extra layer of security
- Review your credit card and bank account statements
- Contact the authorities. www.cybercrime.org.za is South Africa’s national fraud and internet crime reporting centre
Remember, most companies will never ask for your personal information via email.