Cyberthreats: Avoid becoming a statistic
October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Throughout October, we’ll offer helpful tips to safeguard your information – whether buying, selling, or introducing new smart home technology. Please join us in raising awareness for this initiative. Do your part, #BeCyberSmart
Phishing…do not get hooked.
Phishing is the top way to infiltrate a network. Michael Saunders & Company makes it a priority to provide agents and staff with 21st-century digital tools and education to help protect their personal information and data. Michael Saunders & Company is proud to be one of the few real estate companies considered a Champion of Cybersecurity by the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCSA) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Phishing attacks use deceptive e-mails in an attempt to gather personal information. The goal is to trick the email recipient into believing that the message is something they want or need, such as a request from their bank or a note from someone in their company, and to click a link or download an attachment. Cybercriminals use a sense of urgency to deceive you on releasing sensitive information or to complete an action that puts your data at risk.
Common sense is always your best defense.
- Suspicious sender’s address – the sender’s address may imitate a legitimate business; cybercriminals often use an email address that closely resembles one from a reputable company by altering or omitting a few characters.
- Spoofed hyperlinks and websites – If you hover your cursor over any links in the body of the email, and the links do not match the text that appears when hovering over them, the link may be spoofed. Malicious websites may look identical to a legitimate site, but the URL may use a variation in spelling or a different domain (e.g., .com vs. .net). Additionally, cybercriminals may use a URL shortening service to hide the true destination of the link.
- Spelling and layout – Poor grammar and sentence structure, misspellings, and inconsistent formatting are other indicators of a possible phishing attempt. Reputable institutions have dedicated personnel that produce, verify, and proofread customer correspondence.
- Suspicious attachments – An unsolicited email requesting a user download and open an attachment is a common delivery mechanism for malware. A cybercriminal may use a false sense of urgency or importance to help persuade a user to download or open an attachment without examining it first.
For more information, view the CISA video.