Managing your money typically involves some combination of saving, investing, and taking steps to pursue life goals like retirement. However, maintaining your financial security doesn’t always stop at that. Falling for the wrong scam can introduce new financial vulnerabilities to your life and put your savings at risk. If you are a business owner, there may be additional complications involved in any data that has been compromised. In order to protect yourself or your business, it’s important to know how to recognize phishing and other types of scams and learn to avoid them.
According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), phishing scams typically start with a message in which the scammer impersonates a legitimate business in order to gain access to your personal information. For instance, you might receive a message that appears to be from your bank requesting sensitive information, passwords, or that even download harmful computer software to your device. Especially clever phishing scams can appear legitimate, so it’s important to remain vigilant in order to avoid being scammed.
Phishing scams often use information that appears to be real, like the names of real people and organizations, to encourage you to interact with their message. The scammer may ask you to do things like update login or payment information, send invoices, or include fake coupons. As part of the message, you might be encouraged to click on a link (which could include malware).
One example described by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is of a false link from Netflix, asking the recipient to click on a link to update their payment information. The message might appear credible at first because it comes from a recognized name, but the link itself is suspicious. Be sure to do your research on the real contact information for these organizations, and keep an eye out for strange generic greetings or other signs that the message sender is not who they say they are.
If you fall for a phishing scam, knowing the next steps to take may be able to help avoid further damage. The FTC recommends notifying anyone else who may be at risk due to the compromised information (for businesses, this includes customers). Change your passwords and disconnect affected devices from the internet. Finally, report the issue to the FTC.
Phishing scams can affect anyone, but there are additional concerns involved for business owners and how it may affect your operations. Business continuity planning is intended to help deal with risk and unexpected events like the aftermath of a phishing scam. At Harvest Wealth Partners, our team’s goal is to help your business prepare for the future, including these risks. To learn more about our services, contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Harvest Wealth Partners is committed to helping our clients work towards a successful future. We believe in your potential to understand the financial options that can lead you to your goals. Call us today to partner with our team. We look forward to continuing our mission for years to come.
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