Email Fraud has been rife for many years and is a huge concern for businesses all over the world. The fraudsters behind these attacks are constantly inventing new ways to hack your account, transmit a virus to your network or impersonate your email address.
One of the latest issues to be aware of is that hackers try to gain access to your account and then search your emails for conversations that you may have been having with clients or colleagues that discuss financial details and transactions. They will then plan to contact you impersonating the other person in your email conversation and try to get you to pay funds to a different bank account.
Another tactic is to set up fame email accounts that look very close to a genuine account and then pretend to be someone they are not in order to gain your trust.
It is imperative that you familiarise yourself with the common fraudulent methods of today and update your staff on these tactics so they can also be on the look out for anything that does not seem right.
Beyond this, there are also a few other measures that you can put in place in order to best protect yourself.
If a client or customer asks you to send funds to a different bank account than the one you are use to sending to for them, ask them to confirm the changes with you over the phone before proceeding with any transactions. Once you are satisfied that the change is genuine you can proceed in confidence.
Businesses do not change their bank accounts very often so this one should definitely raise a red flag if ever it comes up.
Changing your passwords frequently is always a good idea. Do not leave it too long before thinking up a new one and always make it as complicated as possible. Avoid things that are easy to guess, are associated with you or your business or are common passwords like ‘password’. Instead, use a string of random characters that are a mix of letters of both upper and lower case, numbers and symbols.
Don’t worry about trying to remember all your passwords. Instead keep them in a spreadsheet in a folder on your desktop that is also password encrypted. Then, the only password you will need to remember is the one for this encrypted file.
Free Email Accounts
Free email accounts are often the ones that are hacked the most. This is because they generally have the least security. Instead, for your business use an email service like Microsoft Office 365 as it will have far superior security functionality.
You will more than likely notice a similar style and tone of writing form people that you correspond with frequently via email. Watch out for any unusual changed in the language they use. If you are suspicious, give them a call to find out if the email came from them.
Always be very wary of hyperlinks in emails and absolutely do not click them if you do not recognise the sender of the email or if it looks suspicious in any way. One should also be cautious when clicking any hyperlinks in an email that is from someone you know and trust. Before clicking the link, double check the senders email address is correct and you are happy that the email is genuine.
Similar to hyperlinks in emails, never open attachments, never open attachments that come from suspicious looking email addresses or from people you do not know.
Spam and Malware Filters
Be sure that the email platform that you are using has good spam filters and malware protection. For some systems you may need to configure these to the the most out of them. It is well worth doing!
Make sure that you are using a trusted and reliable anti-virus software and your version is up to date.
If you suspect any fraudulent activity via emails then it is highly recommended that you report it immediately. If you suspect that someone has hacked into your account then change the password right away and check for any unusual changes in your account.
However, if you are using a MAC then your machine may not need anti-virus software in many cases. To be sure it is always best to speak to a MAC expert, such as the ones that are provided at popular retail stores such as PC World or of course, in the Apple store itself.
For more info on the differences between PC and MAC, please see our post, Things to consider when choosing the best computer for your business.