I was going through one of my email accounts the other day and I noticed a bunch of 1990s-style spam emails. There was the promise of sharing some uncollected inheritance with me from some deceased African royalty if I only shared my bank account.

While these are surely obvious and probably not a huge danger for you or your clients, there are more sophisticated scams out there. It’s going to be up to you as your customer’s primary IT partner to make sure your they are being extra careful when it comes to emails.

As people get more distracted during the pandemic, working from home and often with a full house, it’s easier for shady people to take advantage. And where there’s an opening there’s always going to be a corrupt group of people trying to exploit it.

That means it’s more important than ever to be extra vigilant about keeping a careful eye on emails, checking the sender’s address and making sure that it’s legitimate before you click a link or open an attachment.

In fact, you may want to remind clients to have their fraud radar on high alert, especially as they deal with more and more unknown people both inside and outside the organization while working from home.

An ounce of prevention

Your clients will look to you for help in navigating the spam and phishing issues because if it becomes a security problem, it’s going to be up to you to solve it. That’s why it’s better to nip it in the bud before it becomes something more serious.

As we’ve discussed in the past, this tends to take a certain level of education. Some companies do regular testing, sending “safe” phishing emails as a teaching tool to warn people who open the attachments or click the links. Instead of getting malware, they get a warning about what they just did.

It’s probably best not to overuse this kind of approach, but it can be one of the tools in your arsenal. You can also look for training materials online to share with your clients to help them become more sophisticated about looking for and questioning suspicious emails.

You may also want to look into tools that can inspect incoming emails for bad links or infected files, before they hit your client’s systems to provide an automation layer to go with on-going education.

You won’t stop every scam or phishing attack that threatens your client, no matter what you do. But a healthy mix of automation and education can go a long way toward protecting your clients.

Unfortunately, this is now more important that ever as shady people try to take advantage of a bad situation to gain a foothold inside a company’s computer systems.

Photo: wk1003mike / Shutterstock

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Posted by Ron Miller

Ron Miller is a freelance technology reporter and blogger. He is contributing editor at EContent Magazine and enterprise reporter at TechCrunch.

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