With October being National Cybersecurity Awareness Month as PR pros, we have a certain level of responsibility when it comes to keeping sensitive information secured. We often times have access to client’s financial details and strategic plans, in addition to our own agency’s sensitive data and information. This access to information makes communication professionals and their clients big targets for cybercriminals and hackers.
The best way to prevent a cybersecurity crisis is to stay informed and know the ways that we could be targeted.
For communications professionals the most common way for us to be targeted is through phishing. Phishing is when a cybercriminal sends what you think is a legitimate email that tricks you into clicking a link, downloading an attachment or requesting you to send money, credit card information, bank account numbers and sometimes even gift cards.
The best ways to avoid falling victim to phishing scams is double checking the email address to make sure it doesn’t have slightly different spelling or extra character, don’t click on unusual links and verify urgent requests over the phone with trusted contact information.
In recent months, I have gotten notifications on my personal email and social media accounts of someone trying to log into my accounts from outside of Arizona. To up the security on my personal accounts I enabled two-way identification prompting me to now have to enter codes sent to my phone to login on a new device, change my passwords more frequently, and I make sure to keep all my apps and operating systems up to date.
With the majority of us working remotely, the risk is even greater now since a lot of communication and transactions are happening virtual and through email.