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Protect Yourself from Phishing with Activo This Cyber Security Awareness Month

by Jim Taylor | Oct 03, 2022

Cyber Security Awareness Month is an international campaign to raise awareness of the importance of cyber security. Every October, this campaign offers resources and tools to prepare people for common security issues they may face on the internet.

In Canada, the government has worked to help raise awareness, with the focus this year being on avoiding phishing scams. Approximately 41% of all cyberattacks were phishing-related in 2021, making it the top cyber-attack method that year.

There has been a reported increase of 50% more cyberattacks on businesses in 2021 compared to the year before. It is more and more important for businesses of all sizes to find ways to protect their assets, not only physically but digitally.

What is phishing?

Phishing is the practice of sending emails claiming to be from reputable companies to convince individuals to reveal personal information like passwords and credit card numbers.

Phishing scams use this information to access important information like your bank account and can result in identity theft and financial losses.

Common features of phishing emails include:

  • Unusual senders.
  • Claims that are too good to be true, like free electronics or lavish prizes.
  • Sense of urgency, by making threats or claiming you only have a few minutes to respond.
  • Inaccurate hyperlinks, which appear normal but are linking elsewhere. They may misspell the names of popular websites to mislead you.

How can I protect myself?

While hackers are always coming up with new ways to try and manipulate you, there are several things that you can do to avoid phishing scams.

To protect yourself from phishing scams, make sure that you are using spam filters and that your internet browser settings are adjusted to keep fraudulent websites from opening. Many browsers only allow trustworthy sites to open, so when you try and access them you receive a warning or the website is blocked.

Report possible phishing emails to your company’s security team, or to banks and financial organizations that use monitoring systems to prevent these cyberattacks. These groups will report the phishing to industry groups that take legal action against the websites.

If there is a link in an email, hover over it with your mouse to determine where it will lead you. Secure websites will begin with HTTPS to show it has a valid Secure Socket Layer (SSL). Make sure that the URL is spelled correctly and is a trusted website before you open it. Be extra careful when hovering over links to prevent inadvertently clicking the link and potentially exposing yourself to a dangerous website.

How Activo Helps

Activo offers several cyber security tools to help protect you and your business from possible attacks.

We offer email security, which acts as a firewall for email-based threats. This security reduces phishing attempts and reduces spam and malware delivery to end users.

Firewalls and VPNs provide network security for remote workers and help to reduce command and control attacks, malware, and ransomware attacks. We work with next-generation firewalls like Cisco that are particularly effective and offer design, supply, configuration, installation, and management of these tools.

Activo also offers other support like business continuity and disaster recovery services, and security consultation to help develop an effective cyber security policy for your enterprise.

To learn more about our cyber security services, contact us today! We’ll be happy to help you find an effective solution to protect your business.