Christmas Phishing Scams - The Gift That Keeps On Giving

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santa_email"It is the night before Christmas and you're curled up snugly in your house.
Not a thought of work to be had, though a stranger is working hard at their keyboard and mouse.
Pleasant dreams of holiday cheer and looking forward to a happy New Year, you rest peacefully without a care.
Oblivious to the fact - the last work email you clicked on, downloaded nasty, data-stealing malware."

Email security might be the last thing you think about before you finish up work for the end of year festivities, yet cyber criminals are not afraid to use this time of year to their advantage. Just like Santa Claus making his way down the chimney, there are cunning ways in which they get you, and you might not realise until it is too late.

What makes businesses so vulnerable this time of year? Many phishing emails come disguised as those from retail companies, parcel services, and banks. These emails then contain links to fake websites (highly legitimate looking) that ask for personal details, or which contain links that download malware.

As your staff may be distracted thinking about Christmas or expecting parcels to arrive, they are more likely to click and download without thinking. Many offices also run with skeleton staff or casual/relief staff, so if they aren't savvy to these scams or you don't have high-end security precautions in place, the risk of these type of emails causing havoc to your business network is greatly elevated.

How do Christmas phishing scams keep on giving? Unfortunately, the more advanced the scam, the more likely it is that it will not become apparent until weeks or months down the track. You might not even realise you have downloaded an executable file until it is too late, and your information or data has already been stolen, and the damage done.

Throughout this year, MailGuard has educated our customers on the wide range of phishing scams and viruses that can affect business networks. As a helpful reminder, and because we don't want you to find any nasty surprises when you come back in the New Year, we've got your security tips all wrapped up.

* Be sure to back up your company data every single day.

* Ensure that all applications and operating systems are up-to-date.

* Put in place a multilayered defence program including desktop anti-virus, anti-malware, anti-spyware, and cloud-based email and web filtering services (the elves here at MailGuard can help with that!)

* Install a firewall on your staff computers (which is never switched off) and increase security settings on the internet browsers.

* Limit the use of non-company approved external devices such as USBs, iPads and iPhones.

Also, feel free to share these following tips with your colleagues (this will help keep them off Santa's naughty list!)

* Be vigilant on how you share information online and what type of information you supply.

* Don't click on any unsolicited email links that contain attachments such as.zip or .exe files.

* Remember - a reputable business will never use an email to ask for personal information.

If you would like to find out more about MailGuard services, please contact us expert@mailguard.com.au.

From the team here at MailGuard, we would like to wish everyone a very safe and happy festive season, we look forward to assisting you again in 2015.

These great tips will ensure your workplace is safe. To keep you safe at home, take a look at this blog post by MailGuard CEO and Founder, Craig McDonald The Xmas Gift ... You Don't Want!




Topics: Cloud Computing Spam Industry News Email Web Security Hacking Phishing Website Security Email Security

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