As the holidays approach, staying vigilant to protect your secure data is crucial. It can be a snowstorm of emails offering deals on products and services during the holiday season. Because of this, the most wonderful time of the year can be one of the most dangerous as identity thieves go phishing. It’s important to be on your guard as you browse your inbox for holiday sales.
A phishing email is an email sent by a scammer attempting to steal your passwords, credit card information, and Personal Identifiable Information (PII). As defined by the U.S. Department of Labor, PII refers to “any representation of information that permits the identity of an individual to whom the information applies to be reasonably inferred by either direct or indirect means”. If you fall for a scammer’s ploy to access your PII, they could use this information to access your bank, email, and other accounts or sell this access to other scammers. Here are some quick tips for identifying and quarantining phishing emails.
- Stop and think! One of the most important things you can do when reading a suspicious email is to stop and consider before acting. Scammers try to make their emails sound urgent so that you act without thinking, thereby missing any red flags. Additionally, make sure the email address is spelled correctly. For example, does the email address say email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org? If you’re glancing, these may seem correct, but look again!
- Don’t click on links! If you’ve received an email you aren’t sure about, don’t click on any links. You can hover your cursor over a link to see if the destination is what you expected or if it is a long URL you don’t recognize. Does the email say you’ve been locked out of an account and must click a link to renew it? The email may be misleading you in the hopes that you will make a hasty mistake. Always consult your IT department when in doubt: this protects you and your company.
- Update your computer regularly! System updates can be time-consuming but are necessary. These updates can include critical security patches and changes that keep your computer and secure information safe. Take a moment to complete all updates when notified.
The Importance of Protecting Your Personal Data and Your Company’s Data
Protecting your personal data and your company’s secure information is crucial no matter what time of year. Further, small and mid-sized business owners (SMBs) should take measures to protect their data in the event of a breach. Cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated with each passing day, and it’s vital that we educate ourselves on how to practice safe internet habits. It can be difficult for SMBs to protect their organization in the event of an information breach without access to an advanced cyber liability program.
How a PEO can Help Protect Your Business
PrestigePEO is proud to offer the Enterprise Cyber Liability Program, which protects your organization from the cost of an actual or suspected violation of your private data due to a security breach. This insurance program can reimburse you for costs associated with business disruption, revenue loss, equipment damages, legal fees, public relations expenses, forensic analysis, and expenses associated with legally mandated notifications. Many small businesses do not carry a standalone security policy, which is why we are happy to offer it to our clients.
When you partner with PrestigePEO, we can help mitigate risk for your business with services at much more affordable prices than you would find on the open market alone. We are proud to partner with SMBs and give them access to programs and benefits that may be out of reach if they were on their own. To learn more about our services, like our cyber liability program and other ways we can help protect your business, get in touch with us today!