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Steps to Take After a Phishing Attack

It’s simple to rush through our emails daily, clicking on messages in the inbox to view messages from the businesses and familiar names of people we conduct business with. Disguised as familiar sites and people, scammers rely on familiarity, hoping to get you to click on their message.

Scammers craft phishing emails to look familiar to the individuals who are the target for access to sensitive information that can lead to identity theft and other forms of fraud. These attacks have compromised data for some of the largest organizations in the world. While this massive deception is concerning, it relays the critical message that it is not something to be embarrassed about if a phishing scam fools you and impacts your business or personal data. 

Steps to Take After a Phishing Attack

Follow These Steps After a Phishing Attack

It is paralyzing when you realize your business or personal information has been successfully targeted by a phishing attack, but it is imperative to take action immediately. Florida ranks sixth in the U.S. in phishing attacks, often happening when you least expect it. To prevent further damage, follow these steps to fight against phishing attacks. 

Disconnect From the Internet

Most homes have WIFI, allowing multiple individuals to connect to the internet, and businesses have internet networks that are used extensively by many people. Whatever device your internet service comes through, unplugging it can help minimize the potential of malware working its way through the network. This step can also be performed by turning off the WIFI settings on a device, but disconnecting in some way is essential.

Create New Passwords

With so many passwords, using the same login information for multiple sites seems the simplest way to remember logins. Phishing attacks are one of the reasons this is never recommended. Particularly if you are directed to a site impersonating one you regularly visit when you click the email, go to the fake site, and enter your login information, the scammer now has the information for all of the accounts that use the same login credentials.

Immediately go in and change the password for the authentic website that was imitated in the phishing scam. Updating information like security questions can also help protect your account. Taking the time to update your passwords can be cumbersome but worth it when your sensitive information is at risk.

Uncover Hidden Malware

Think of malware as a virus hidden in your computer. Anti-virus software is the first step to wiping down the components of your system, such as the server, files, and applications. However, it can be simple to miss a spot, so having it professionally checked by a trusted computer company or IT department can make this step simpler and more thorough.

Inform The People Who Use the Network

Whether it is employees or family members, discussing the event that led to the phishing attack can help determine its origins. It also brings awareness to the vigilance that is required online. It can be possible to determine if a clicked link, downloaded attachment, or opened file was the culprit behind the attack.

Be on the Lookout for Identity Theft

It is essential to closely monitor banking and financial accounts for suspicious activity after a phishing attack. Ensure your financial notifications are set to catch the first signs of theft. Notifying relevant agencies helps prevent unwanted damage, such as loans taken out in your name, opened accounts, or new personal information connected to your credit reports.

Contact the Individual or Organization Falsely Portrayed in the Email

Contact an individual responsible for the organization that was inappropriately represented so they can immediately notify other potential contacts to be on the lookout. Like you, other unsuspecting individuals become victims of phishing scams. Helping others avoid or navigate the enormous amount of trouble you just encountered stops these scams.

Analyze Logs to Determine What Happened

If a phishing scam has impacted your business, identify questionable traffic on firewall logs, review emails to see who received the phishing attack, document unknown IP addresses or URLs and determine if an individual’s search on the internet led them to malicious sites. A thriving company’s business is a benefit to other companies looking to beat out their competition. Reviewing activity on each account holding sensitive information will allow individuals to gain insight into internal company concerns.

Backup All Data and Software

Data can be lost in the process of repairing your system. A loss of significant information is just as painful as a phishing attack. Also, performing regular backups can minimize the loss you experience.

Update Spam Filters

The best way to avoid a phishing attack is to prevent damaging emails from coming in. Adjusting security settings on email allows for better protection. 

Determine the Extent of the Attack

Searching online to determine if other entities were affected can give you the scope of an attack. Other professionals may have advised additional steps to protect your personal or business information. The immediate threat may be over, but not letting down your guard should be at the forefront of your mind. 

Notify the Appropriate Agencies

Report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission and continue to work to determine what information may have been accessed during the attack. At the Federal Trade Commission, you can take proactive steps to take control of your data and protect it from phishing scammers.

Stay Informed About Common Internet Fraud Scams

The scams may change in appearance, but they all aim to capture your personal or business information for a scammer’s financial benefit. Numerous internet fraud scams, like phishing attacks, target innocent Floridians every day. A healthy awareness of the technological dangers that target you allows an easier recognition of these threats. 

Work With Experienced Florida ID Theft Litigation Attorneys

Ensuring legal protection for your personal or business identity is crucial to stop the devastating effects of phishing scams. Sharmin & Sharmin P.A. have assisted clients for over 20 years using unmatched knowledge and resources to regain control and repair the damage caused by fraud and scams. Schedule a free consultation with a Florida identity theft attorney to repair the damage caused by hostile cyber-attacks.

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