The Competition Bureau reports that phishing is one of the growing scamming techniques, and users of social networking sites are especially vulnerable. Almost 95 per cent of fraud-related crimes in Canada go unreported, according to an estimate by the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. One glaring reason for this is because people are usually too embarrassed to admit that they fell for a fraud scam, especially one that happened on a social networking site.
A phishing scam is a phony email or pop-up message used to lure unsuspecting Internet users into divulging personal information, such as credit card numbers and account passwords, that will later be used by hackers for identity theft. A phisher’s email can be very persuasive and believable if he or she is impersonating a well-known organization or individual.
Keep employees safe from phishing scams by teaching them to:
- Be extremely wary of urgent email requests for any personal or financial information (their information or a client’s).
- Call the company or individual in question with the number listed on the corporate website or in the phone book. Avoid using phone numbers provided in the email, as they could be phony too.
- Do not use the links included in the email unless you are certain that the email is legitimate.
- Do not divulge personal or financial information on the Internet unless the site is secure (sites that start with “https”).
- Never disable anti-virus software.
The only way that the authorities can keep tabs on new scams that pop up is if individuals report crimes when they happen. When these crimes go unreported, the public can’t be alerted to watch out for scams, which can in turn affect many more people.
A computer intrusion could cripple your company, costing you thousands or millions of dollars in lost sales and/or damages. Make sure your employees are alerting you when they encounter suspicious emails or websites.
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