Most Internet Users Think They Can Spot Phishing Emails. Half of Them Are Wrong

July 19, 2017

11:30 am

If you aren’t investing in cybersecurity measures for your business, you’re in trouble. With cyber crime costs projected to exceed $2 trillion in 2019, securing your company’s information should be a top priority for founders everywhere. And while you might think your employees are knowledgable enough to avoid compromising the security of your business, one study shows that you couldn’t be more wrong.

According to a survey taken by NordVPN, 94 percent of internet users are confident in their ability to spot phishing emails asking for personal information. This number is staggeringly high for how prevalent cyber attacks have become in the business world today. Fortunately, we all know that confidence doesn’t always equal actual skill, as the study found that 45 percent of internet users are still regularly clicking on dangerous links and providing personal information where they shouldn’t, putting their company at risk, all because of phishing emails.

While hackers are getting better and better at stealing your information on a daily basis, cybersecurity measures have typically been able to fight back. However, businesses around the world rarely keep up with shifting trends, leaving their information open to cyber attacks at every turn. If founders want to make cybersecurity a priority, they need to make education and awareness the primary means of doing so.

“We seek to educate general public about cyber threats and the importance of data and information security in the digital age,” wrote the authors of the study. “The objective of this research is to determine the global level of awareness about online security and privacy as well as to provide practical advice.”

If you want to take steps to improve your employees’ ability to spot phishing emails, the study gives a few tips that can help. For one, check the email’s sender. Trusting the display name is the first mistake when it comes to these cyber attacks. Then, make sure there are no spelling or grammar mistakes, as these are common in phishing emails. You’ll also want to avoid clicking on any links to make sure you aren’t being hasty. Finally, when in doubt, contact your bank to make sure no one is trying to pull a fast one over on you.

Despite global cyber attacks making headlines on what feels like a weekly basis, startup founders and entrepreneurs are still not taking the risks seriously. Even with the huge cost and thousands of simple solutions available at the click of a button, they just don’t get that these problems are total company ruiners. And if you can’t secure your information through business emails, you’re going to be in trouble before you know it.

Read more about cybersecurity on TechCo

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Conor is a writer, comedian and world-renowned sweetheart. As the Senior Writer at Tech.Co, he’s written about everything from Kickstarter campaigns and budding startups to tech titans and innovative technologies. His background in stand-up comedy made him the perfect person to host Startup Night at SXSW and the Funding Q&A at Innovate! and Celebrate, posing questions to notable tech minds from around the world. In his spare time, he thinks about how to properly pronounce the word "colloquially." Conor is the Senior Writer at Tech.Co. You can email him at [email protected].

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