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Squash phishing by educating customers

What steps are you taking to protect your customers

Phishing has overtaken spam as the number one issue in the email world. While spam is a major annoyance, phishing attacks have the potential to damage brands by stealing directly from customers and taking over their identities. Squash phishing!

ISPs have therefore taken steps to teach consumers about the dangers of “phishy” emails.

The general education taking place is two-fold:

  1. Do not click on any links in emails that lead to a login page, instead manually visit the site of the sender
  2. Be extra careful with attachments that may contain viruses, trojans or malware

And there’s no doubt that if everyone were to follow these two rules, the attacks would largely become worthless.

However, I think we need to return to a place of sanity.

In January I wrote about 4 Key ESP Security areas to focus on this year and educating customers will probably remain on that list for years to come. For more tips, read this blog post: 3 Easy steps to combat phishing attacks

Do not open the attachment! Unless…

I’ve read many warnings lately advising not to open ANY attachments, mostly from companies promising that they will never send an email attachment.

I think that this is extreme.

A well constructed email program that allows customers to sign up via an email consent method, will provide them with a timely welcome email explaining exactly what to expect when they receive their encrypted and password protected documents. This way, there should be no cause for panic because the customer knows what to expect at every step.

Let’s start changing the rhetoric and teach customers not to open attachments that they aren’t expecting, especially those with dubious html or executable extensions. Also, train them to recognize a valid email that they have signed up to receive.

What steps are you taking to protect your customers from phishing?

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Alex Papadopulos

Alex Papadopulos

Head of Operations at Striata, The Americas

Alex Papadopulos is the Head of Operations for Striata America and currently heads up all technical operations for North, Central and South America. He is responsible for all areas of technical and project operations including project management, support, development and project implementation.

Alex began his career with Striata in 2003 as a programmer and has worked extensively within the various operations teams in South Africa before moving to North America as the Technical Team Lead. Prior to moving to the United States, Alex was responsible for managing a team of developers and engineers in his role as Technical Project manager where he managed clients requirements as well as developing a number of proofs of concept. He also completed 18 months in a Systems Analyst position at Clover. Alex has over 10 years of experience in the IT field, primarily focused on electronic billing presentment, billing and supply chain management.

Alex completed his Bachelor of Information Technology in 2001 through Bond University (Australia) at Sandton, South Africa majoring in programming.

Read more of Alex's blog posts here or connect with him on the following social channels: