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Guarding Against Sneaky Emails: Staying Safe from Phishing Scams

Are you familiar with those sneaky dangers that hide in your email? Well, imagine this – you get an email that looks like it's from Microsoft, the well-known tech company. But hold on, it might not be the real deal. This kind of trick is called phishing, and it's a big problem.

Phishing is when bad guys send you emails with harmful links or files. They want to steal your important stuff. Now, it's not Microsoft's fault, but it's important for you and your coworkers to be super careful when you see something fishy.

In the second part of 2023, Microsoft got the top prize for being the most copied brand by these cyber bad guys. They took up a massive 29% of all the phishing attempts! This places it well ahead of Google in second place (at 19.5%) and Apple in third place (at 5.2%). Together, these three tech titans account for more than half of the observed brand imitator attacks.

But why does this matter for your business? Despite a clear surge in fake emails targeting millions of Windows and Microsoft 365 customers worldwide, careful observation can help protect you from identity theft and fraud attacks.

Whilst the most imitated brands change from quarter to quarter, cybercriminals are less likely to change their tactics. They use logos, colours, and writing that look real. The tricky part is that the web addresses (URLs) they use can be almost the same as the real ones. But guess what? If you look closely, you can usually spot mistakes – like spelling errors. Those mistakes are a sure sign that someone's up to no good.

Here's an example of their latest trick: They'll send you a message saying something's weird with your Microsoft account, and you need to click a link to fix it. But don't fall for it! Those links are dangerous and can swipe everything from your passwords to your money.

Now, these cyber bad guys don't just pick on tech companies. Lately, they've been going after banks, online shopping, and even gift cards. In fact, during the same time, Wells Fargo and Amazon were in the top five for most copied brands, with 4.2% and 4% of all the pretend emails.

So, what can you do to keep your business safe? It's actually pretty simple. When you get an email, take a breath, slow down, and look closely. Check if the web addresses and message words look right. If you're not sure, ask for help.

And hey, if you want to make sure your team knows how to stay safe from these sneaky tricks, we're here to help. Just give us a shout!

Until next time, keep fit and have fun!

(TYYV) The Yada Yada Version:

Learn how to protect your business from phishing scams, especially those imitating trusted brands like Microsoft and yada yada yada, stay vigilant for suspicious emails and carefully check for signs of deception.

Mitch Redekopp
Article Written by Mitch Redekopp

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