How to Keep Yourself Safe from Being Caught By Phishing Scammers

Phishing email scams are among the common scams in circulation. Essentially, they’re created to trick you into believing they’re from a trustworthy source—a friend, perhaps, or a corporation. Their creation and designs are often sophisticated. In many cases, they look identical to legitimate emails from legitimate companies, and that’s how they trick you.

The point of a phishing scam is to trick you into believing you’ve received a legitimate email. The emails might offer incredible savings or warnings. They always include a link of some sorts. Tricking or persuading you into clicking the link is the point of the scam. Clicking the link can infect your computer or device with malware, which can put your personal information at risk. Collecting this information—often to perpetrate identity theft—is ultimately the point of a phishing scam.

Phishing Scammers

The Impact of Phishing on Business

Since phishing scams are so effective, they’re on the rise. As a result, they affect millions of people. The Anti-Phishing Working Group, an organization dedicated to tracking scams and educating people, state that phishing scams increased by 65% between 2015 and 2016. In those years combined, phishing scams affected nearly 2 million people.

These scams cost millions, especially for American businesses. According to statistics, the average business with upwards of 10,000 employees spends more than three and a half million dollars a year combating phishing scams. Combined, businesses in America alone lost over 500 million dollars every year to or fighting phishing scams.

Most people are connected online in some way. Businesses these days rely on the internet for a variety of reasons. Since so many people are connected, scams of all varieties, including phishing scams are rising. Mega corporations such as Apple, Google, and Equifax are susceptible to them. No one is immune from them. Recently, news of the breach at Equifax have riled citizens and politicians alike.

Tips to Keep Yourself Safe from Phishers

2-Step Authorization

This is a layered approach to security, one you’ve probably encountered. Essentially, a 2-step authorization adds a failsafe to websites holding your personal information. Many websites offer this approach, and you should take them up on their offer. Here’s how it works: you punch in your username and password. Then you’re directed to a screen asking you to input a security code. The most common means of receiving this code is via text messaging. A few seconds after you’re directed to this screen, you should receive a text with the security code. Entering the code verifies your identity. It’s a great added layer of security. Take advantage of it whenever a site or app offers it.

Check the Sender’s Address

As we mentioned in the opening section, phishing scams work because they replicate emails from legitimate sources—some even down to the HTML coding. As a result, many fraudulent emails are indistinguishable from legitimate ones. Sometimes, scanning the email alone might not alert you to the fact that it’s a scam. One way of discerning the legitimacy of the email is to check the sender’s address. Major corporations use addresses associated with their companies—and they use .com, .org, .co.uk, etc. Phishing scams use bogus email addresses that are easily detectable as fake. If you receive an email from Amazon warning that you’re account has been suspended, and the email was sent from racooon@genericwebsite.de, then it’s safe to assume this is a phishing email. Mark it as junk and delete it promptly.

Be Wary of Urgent or Emergency Emails

Quick! Act! Don’t think! Something terrible has happened or is about to happen, to your account, and you must address it immediately. Don’t think! Click this link! This is the gist of many phishing emails. They use language to create a sense of urgency to manipulate you into lowering your guard and clicking a link. The point of emails with strong language is to prevent you from thinking and to convince you to click that link as quickly as possible. Whenever you receive an email that creates some sense of urgency, then you should raise your guard and scrutinize it.

Look for “HTTPS”

Websites these days incorporate a layer of cyber security into their designs and servers. The key to identifying which sites are operating on secure servers is to check the URL. All URLs begin with “HTTP” or “https.” You should only input personal information—including username and passwords—into websites with “https”—the “s” means the site is secure. Never put your personal information on sites with a URL beginning with “HTTP.” These sites are not secure. Entering your information might immediately compromise it.

Enroll Yourself in Security Training Classes

Businesses now exist to educate people in cybersecurity and identifying online scams such as phishing. These online cybersecurity classes are designed to educate and inform. They equip people with the knowledge to battle phishing scams. Many training classes are offered online. They’re great resources, and you should consider using them.

It’s easy to fall for a phishing scam. Millions of people do it. These scams are engineered and released by sophisticated scammers with one objective: to obtain your personal information, often for fraudulently accessing money in your name. Identifying phishing scams is key to avoiding them. Knowledge, as they say, is power.

Steve Orowitz is a recently retired small business operator and is now a consultant. He is passionate about entrepreneurship, travel, and technology. When he isn’t consulting, you can usually find him out on the river with his fly rod, or hiking in the hills near his home in Fort Collins Colorado.

Avoid Fines and Lawsuits – Protect Your Customers Information

Data is vital for businesses these days. And it’s never been easier for businesses to get their hands on that data! These days, customers are trusting companies with more and more of their data. Whether or not that’s a good thing, I’ll leave to more philosophical or political writers. Which isn’t to say that I don’t care about the privacy of customers and the sensitivity of their data. In fact, that’s what I’m here to write about today.

data protection

If your business is dealing with a lot of customer data, then you have a responsibility to protect it. And I’m not talking about some abstract, unspoken, moral responsibility to protect it. (Although, of course, there’s that to.) I mean you have an actual legal responsibility to make sure all of that data is safe! If that data gets into the hands of criminals or the public at large? You could end up with some hefty fines and some even heftier lawsuits.

So to say that protecting the data is crucial is almost an understatement. It’s necessary. Here are some of the things you need to consider.

Improving general network and computer security

Most modern offices have a local network that connects the PCs of everyone in the workplace. It allows easy and collaborative access to the files you need to do your jobs. That’s great and everything – but what if someone on the outside were able to access that network?

There’s no doubt that making sure you have the best security for these connections is a must. Not all businesses have the necessary know-how, though. We shouldn’t assume all businesses can afford super-comprehensive IT departments! If you need your network security or any other tech problem reviewed, look into local IT support.

The danger of public Internet connections

Is the Internet in your office kind of slow at times? It happens in a lot of offices. And if you’re working in the city, the chances are that there’s some strong public WiFi nearby. In fact, you may even be able to connect to it from the office. And for free, too!

But, y’know, don’t.

The danger of public WiFi can be found in its name – it’s public. Sure, the average person sitting in that café on their mobile phone might not know how to access the data you’re sending across the network. But any cybercriminal worth their salt knows how to compromise a public WiFi connection and access other people’s data. Make sure absolutely no-one in your office connects to any Internet connection other than your own when doing business.

BYOD

BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Device. But it may as well stand for Bring Your Own Danger if you’re not doing it properly!

Basically, many offices these days allow their employees to bring their own devices to work on. Mobile phones, tablets, laptops, that sort of thing. This means you end up getting sensitive work information on their devices. That can be fine – unless the security of those devices isn’t the best of the best! Make sure employees know the importance of personal device security.

How To Use The Internet To Recruit The Very Best Employees

Any business owner understands that employees are the beating heart of a company. It’s up to you to find the very best, and recruit them to your team. When your employees are smart, focused, and passionate, your business will thrive. Remember, your business is only as good as the employees on the payroll.

With that in mind, you should take your time with this process. Don’t rush into hiring anyone until the right person comes along. There are plenty of traditional methods of hiring, but here at DigitalVani, I’m obsessed with digital trends. So, how do you take this process online? How do you use the internet and digital resources to find the best?

 Use The Internet To Recruit The Very Best Employees

Build your reputation

My first step is focusing on your own presence and reputation. One way to attract the best talent is making sure it comes to you. There’s a reason why people want to work for Google. They have built such a fantastic reputation and employee standards. Build your presence as far as possible first. That way, you create a business that people are proud to work for. It will help you attract the very best.

Networking

Networking has never been so easy. Thanks to the internet, you can now connect with colleagues and acquaintances online. You can also make new connections with people in your industry and niche. Using LinkedIn, Twitter, and social media, you can create a network of industry experts in your niche. Use these platforms to pinpoint the best and brightest in your industry. By starting these conversations, you can also spread the word that you’re hiring. These whispers will then reach all the right places.

Job boards

There are hundreds of job boards online, and some are specific to industry niches. Rather than choosing the biggest sites with a wide reach, look for the highly specific job boards. For example, if you’re looking for a highly talented UX designer, visit a UX design forum. Post the job description here, where the most passionate and talented designers hang out. You’re much more likely to fill the position with a quality recruit using this method.

Online recruitment agencies

The recruitment industry is slowly moving online. They are also becoming more specialised and specific. For example, you will now find online recruitment agencies that specialise in hospitality or construction. Incidentally, you can click here for more information on recruiting in the construction sector. Again, this system allows you to tap into a pool of highly-skilled workers. That’s because many recruitment agencies choose the best candidates in the first place.

Headhunting

Best of all, you can use the internet to headhunt the smartest in the business. If you follow plenty of blogs, you’ll soon identify the smartest people in the industry. If you come across someone whose ideas you like, why not approach them? You can invite them to work freelance, or offer them a full contract from there.

The digital world opens up all sorts of recruitment opportunities for you and your company. Start your search online, and only hire the very best.

Adobe Announced Creative Cloud for Photographers and Designers

Adobe announced a new photography plan. The plan is for anyone interested in photography. It will cost users $9.99 every month and bring around two cutting edge tools – Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5. The new plan is called Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan. Apple also launches Lightroom’s mobile apps on iPad and iPhone and a new Photoshop app for iPad called Photoshop Mix. The app will allow Smartphone users avail all features of Photoshop that are normally restricted to desktop. The app is built with Adobe Creative software development kit.

Creative Cloud adobe

The Photoshop CC is being regarded as a breakthrough release by Adobe. The tool consists of some remarkable features. Some of them are mentioned below;

  1. Focus Mask – The feature causes Photoshop CC to automatically select in-focus areas of a particular image. This is how the first step of a mask is created. Headshots and other images with not-so-high resolution require focus mask.
  2. Perspective Warp – It’s an innovative feature with the capability of adjusting the perspective of a certain part of the image. More so, it is done fluidly and doesn’t affect surrounding areas.
  3. Better Stylus Support for Windows 8.1 – The feature lets Photoshop CC provide better stylus support. Users can enjoy ultra-smooth brush strokes. The overall experience will also be better and something users are not familiar with.

The said features are all subtle addition to Adobe’s brand name. So even though Creative Cloud release has been called as a groundbreaking one by Adobe, the software doesn’t cause a shocking effect on the users. The fine-drawn improvements are being propagated.

Photography is not pastime anymore. Many earn their bread and butter by capturing images. More so, a lot of people are so obsessed with photography that they never forget to bring their camera whenever out on a trip. The Creative Cloud is going to offer them standout service. Winston Hendrickson of Adobe said, “we know there’s a huge appetite from photography enthusiasts to have powerful, world-class software available on their mobile devices as well as their computers.”

That’s exactly what Creative Cloud is for. The software will have application in some  money generating fields such as illustration and in-design, video editing, mobile app designing and graphic design. Companies working in these fields can render better services to their clients, thanks to Adobe. Adobe’s stock is currently traded at $73.08, 8.20% up from previous closing.