As a mom running your own small business, you juggle multiple responsibilities and wear numerous hats. From managing your finances to building a strong online presence, you know the importance of safeguarding your business.

Even if you don’t have a business, phishing attacks are big business. So you should be aware of what the latest trends are and talk to your family so they know how to spot phishing emails too. Knowledge is power after all.

In this increasingly digital age, one threat that requires your attention is phishing attacks. These deceptive tactics pose risks to your sensitive information, financial security, and the reputation of your venture. In this blog post, we’ll equip you with knowledge about phishing and how you can protect yourself and your small business.

Understanding Phishing: Sneaky Cyber Shenanigans

Phishing, my friend, is like a modern-day con artist wearing a digital disguise. Cybercriminals employ clever tactics to trick unsuspecting individuals into revealing their confidential information. The days of a Nigerian Prince leaving you all his money are sadly behind us, now we have to be even more vigilant.

These fraudsters may send fraudulent emails, create fake websites, or even make convincing phone calls to obtain your passwords, credit card details, or other personal data. The goal? To gain unauthorized access to your accounts, steal your funds, or compromise your valuable business information.

Spotting Phishing Hooks: Don’t Get Reeled In!

How To Spot Suspicious Phishing Emails: 

Keep an eagle eye out for emails that appear to be from trusted sources like banks, service providers, or even fellow entrepreneurs. Phishers often use urgency and fear tactics to lure you into clicking on malicious links or divulging sensitive information.

Look for:

  • Misspellings
  • Grammatical errors
  • Odd email addresses
  • Weird fonts
  • Switching letters or slight changes in spelling such as Fácebook

NEVER CLICK THE LINK!!

If you have had an email that looks legit, and you have checked the email address looks real, still don’t click the link. Always err on the side of caution. The safest thing to do is open a new window and go and log in. Most sites will also have a notification once you have logged in with the same information contained in the email.

If you are still not sure, email/message the business through their platform to make sure it is legit. They are usually happy to be notified if someone is trying to scam their customers so that they can deal with it.

Verify Before You Click: 

Say you totally ignore my previous advice. That is, of course, your prerogative! Then do this before opening any email attachments or clicking on links. Hover your mouse cursor over them to reveal the true destination.

Ensure that the URL matches the entity it claims to be from and be cautious of shortened links or unfamiliar websites. When in doubt, reach out to the purported sender through a separate channel to verify the authenticity of the message.

Doubly So for Social Media

Phishing isn’t just for email. Those sneaky sneaksters (totally a word) are out to get your social media accounts too. What this usually looks like, is that you get sent a message claiming that you have broken a rule or some other legit-looking message that even pops up in your notifications. You instantly feel outraged because you would never do such a thing. Before you know it, you have clickity-clicked. And then you are asked to log in. You think nothing of it, probably just timed out, right?

WRONG

You probably just filled in your login details in a phishing form.

And now the chaos begins! *sob*

But now you know better, the wiser, the more streetsmart you, doesn’t click that link.

No, she follows the instructions to get to check on the app itself. Rather than me explaining where to find the official notifications and emails that have been sent by Meta or whichever other platform, it is better if you Google it. The platforms are constantly changing and I don’t want to be trying to keep this post updated.

When it comes to crunch time, you need the latest info.

Educate Yourself, Your Team, and Your Family: 

Knowledge is power! Stay informed about the latest phishing techniques and share this knowledge with your VA or team members. Conduct regular training sessions on phishing awareness and safe online practices. Encourage open communication so that everyone feels comfortable reporting suspicious activities.

Stay on Guard with Passwords: 

Strong, unique passwords are your first line of defence. Incorporate a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Never reuse passwords across multiple accounts, especially for business-related platforms. Consider using a trusted password manager to securely store and generate complex passwords.

Defensive Measures: Shield Your Business from Phishing Attacks

Implement Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Strengthen your business accounts by enabling MFA whenever possible. This adds an additional layer of security by requiring a second form of verification, such as a unique code sent to your mobile device, in addition to your password. Even if your password is compromised, the attacker would need the second factor to gain access.

More information about passwords and 2FA here

Keep Software Updated: 

Regularly update your operating systems, web browsers, and software applications to patch security vulnerabilities. Cybercriminals often exploit outdated software as entry points for their attacks. Enable automatic updates whenever feasible, and consider using reputable security software to detect and prevent phishing attempts.

African American business woman working on laptop

Conclusion: Your Shield Against Phishing Perils

Protecting your venture from phishing attacks is a vital aspect of your digital journey. By understanding the sneaky tactics employed by cybercriminals and adopting proactive security measures, you can safeguard your sensitive information, finances, and the reputation of your business. 

The only way to stay on top of it all is to stay vigilant and educate yourself. 

What I recommend to the Wonder Moms and to you, is that you set a time each week, maybe attach it to something you already do weekly. And make sure your website is up to date, plus your phone, computer and anything else that may be vulnerable. Once you create the habit, it is much easy to stay on top of things.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is for educational purposes only. Please consult with cybersecurity professionals or legal advisors for personalized advice specific to your business.

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