Hackers and scammers are adept at finding ways into your network. Unfortunately, email offers them the perfect avenue, because your employees might be less vigilant with regard to email. Here’s what you need to know about protecting your workplace from email scams.
Watch for phony invoices. Even if an email appears legit, it could be from a scammer who cleverly targeted your business. Double check the sender’s email address before paying any invoices. It might be only one letter off, or say “.net” instead of “.com” at the end. These strategies can catch you off guard if you’re not looking closely. Also, take notice if the vendor seems to have changed their bank account or other invoicing details.
Watch for hacking within your own email accounts. If hackers get into an employee’s email account, they can copy the contact list and then email your contacts pretending to be you. After requesting payment, that money is diverted into their own accounts. Watch for odd messages from your usual contacts, or late payments from clients that normally pay on time. Automating invoices can help to address this problem, as fake invoices would look different and raise red flags with your contacts.
Be on guard with links. Hackers often utilize suspicious links to download malware into your system, which can then aid them in stealing important data such as Social Security numbers or payment information. Communicate clearly with employees, regarding the risks of clicking on links within emails without first verifying the sender’s email address and intent.
Look for odd language. If any of your contacts email you and sound different from usual, or send content that they would not normally communicate to you, that’s a red flag. Call them on the phone and verify that they sent the message before replying or clicking on any links.
Make sure your employees know what to do. Convey a clear plan of action to all employees, regarding actions to take if they suspect their email account has been compromised, or if they receive a suspicious email. In the case of email scams, knowledge is power. So is a clear plan of action to quickly fix any problems.