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4 Ways to Avoid Disaster after Clicking on a Phishing Link

4 Ways to Avoid Disaster after Clicking on a Phishing Link

Phishing has become one of the most popular ways for hackers to attack accounts and infiltrate networks. Typically, cybercriminals lure in their targets with emails or sometimes text messages, containing malicious links.

As soon as an unsuspecting user clicks on one of these links it unleashes malware. If not dealt with immediately, this malware can infect a company’s entire network causing, in many cases, irreparable damage.

Once a cybercriminal gains access to a secured network, they can steal or delete data, commit fraud, and cause a tremendous amount of damage to a company’s reputation.

The trouble is, phishing emails look legitimate. Most users wouldn’t think twice about opening an email and clicking the link it contains if it appears to originate from a reputable source.

But, if the worst-case scenario does play out, the following steps should help you and your organization avoid disaster.

Four essential steps

1. Disconnect

The very first thing you need to do is disconnect your device from the Internet. By doing this, you should be able to stop any malware from spreading and causing further harm.

If you are using an ethernet cable, pull it out. If you are connected to the Internet via WiFi, disconnect, or even turn off the router. It might sound a little extreme, but the consequences of a successful phishing scam can be devastating.

2. Backup

It’s essential to back up important data on a regular basis. But, if you don’t, now’s the perfect time to start. Forget cloud storage. This stage is all about backing up your files onto an external source.

Cybercriminals regularly delete data after gaining access to a network, so ensuring any vital information is safely stored elsewhere is vital.

3. Scan

Now it’s time to conduct a full-system scan using your existing antivirus software. Be patient. This step can take a while.

Your antivirus/antimalware software should be able to identify and eradicate the threat. But, if you aren’t tech-savvy, or are unsure about the capabilities of the security protocols you have in place, don’t take the risk.

A simulated phishing attack on your organization will encourage your employees to recognize the threat posed by hackers. Contact Gold Security today to arrange a consultation.

4. Modify

If the phishing attack took place via email, change your credentials at once. Once a hacker is in receipt of your account credentials they can quickly use them to commit further fraudulent acts. If the option is there, opt for multi-factor authentication too.

Moving forward

If you are a business owner, the most important and useful action you can take is to educate your employees. Phishing scams are difficult, but not impossible to avoid.

Users need to be aware of suspicious emails as the easiest way to avoid a breach is to delete them as soon as they arrive.