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Hidden dangers in images: Unmasking crafty cybercriminals!


Ah, the Internet. Where we stream episodes of “Schitt’s Creek,” shop for stuff we don’t need, and where cybercriminals are ready to pounce with clever phishing attacks. Let’s talk about their latest trick: using images.

Remember, these folks are craftier than a two-year-old with popsicle sticks and Elmer’s glue. They create emails that mimic ones from your bank, your supplier, or even your favourite online store. These emails have got it all: the right logo, brand colours, the works. And somewhere in there is an image—perhaps it’s a sale banner or an invoice.

Now, here’s where it gets interesting. Cybercriminals can embed malicious links within these images. When you click on that “view invoice” button or that product picture, you might be whisked to a sham website designed to snaffle your login details or personal data.

The images themselves could be Trojan Horses, lugging in malware that’s stealthily downloaded onto your device once you open the email.

Crafty, right?

So, how can you tell an image is a scam? Look for these signs.

First, pay attention to the quality. If it’s grainy or if the branding seems off, that’s a red flag.

Next, hover your mouse over the image. If the link preview leads somewhere other than the legitimate company’s website, don’t click.

Also, be wary of urgency. Scammers often want you to act immediately. Just like you wouldn’t eat a large pizza in one bite, don’t rush to click links.

What can employers do to safeguard their businesses?

Start with education. Run workshops and simulations to help your team recognize phishing attempts. Ensure your firewalls are sturdy, spam filters are updated, and install cybersecurity software.

Consider an email gateway scanner that checks emails for phishing signs before they hit your team’s inboxes. Enable automatic system updates to keep your defenses current. And back up your data regularly. It’s like putting your business’s memory into its own personal vault, safe and secure.

Just as you wouldn’t venture into a Canadian summer without bug spray and sunscreen, don’t let your business venture online without appropriate protection. Be vigilant and help your team do the same.

If you need some advice on how to protect your small- or medium-size business in Victoria, BC, give us a call!