GS Blog

You probably know about those hilariously obvious “Nigerian prince” emails that offer an amazing opportunity for riches if only you’ll hand over your bank account information. Well, as silly as they appear, these clumsy efforts do indeed grab hundreds of thousands of dollars each year – and that’s just your standard phishing maneuver. A more sophisticated and hard-to-spot technique called spear phishing poses even greater danger for folks who think they can spot a sma a mile away. Take a moment to find out about how this scam works and what you can do to keep yourself and your employees safe against it.

Unlike standard phishing, in which a scammer sends out the same generic email to countless people, spear phishing makes use of social engineering to aim spookily convincing emails to targeted individuals – usually rank-and-file employees or workers with easy access to sensitive data. The messages may appear to come from the CEO, the worker’s supervisor, or a brand that commonly promotes itself in similar fashion. The fooled reader then follows a link to a phony web page that requests the sensitive data.

How do you guard against these attacks? Tell your team to check the actual email address of the sender, not just the sender’s name, to see if it’s really coming from a third party. Remind them to study the subject line and body text for any little typos or odd usage errors that might ring alarm bells. Make sure they know to inspect attachments’ formats before downloading them.


Don’t forget to beef up your IT security protections. Activate those spam filters, keep patching your security software, and add two-factor authentication to your login pages in case the bad guys get lucky. If you could benefit from some expert guidance, contact our Austin business IT specialists at Gravity Systems.