Here’s a little tip – don’t check your work email on your mobile phone while riding in an airport shuttle on the way back to your car from vacation.
Don’t quickly open any emails saying you had a recent sign-in attempt and need to remedy your information.
Don’t click the link! DON’T do it.
I did it.
Yep, it was me. The person who studied and learned about fraud, email phishing, social engineering (and a lot of other terrifying cybersecurity issues) for a 1,200-plus word story for BizVoice® magazine last year. The person who has warned everyone about these issues since learning all those terrifying things. The one who pays close attention when data breaches are discussed in the media.
It was me. I did it. Ugh.
Thankfully, I realized what I’d done nearly immediately. I clicked on the link, but I didn’t enter any information and I quickly alerted our network guardian angel administrator, Jeff. Then I panicked all the way home from my relaxing vacation.
But Jeff let me know he was keeping an eye on it, and that I hadn’t broken everything (I was sure I had). Such a relief I have rarely felt in my adult life.
After a self-admonishing mea culpa when I returned to the office, I was again put at ease upon being reminded that this happens more regularly than I realized and that it’s a very easy thing to fall for.
That is NOT an excuse for complacency, of course. Think before you click! Make sure you know your company’s security protocols, think critically about the email address the email is coming from (does your security administrator typically handle anything related to Microsoft? Then Microsoft is probably not emailing you directly!). Just pay attention.
I was reminded firsthand that our information technology and network security administrators are on the front lines of keeping our dumb mistakes at bay.
Thank goodness for that.
If you’ve got a great networking security team supporting your workplace, thank them when you get the chance. You probably don’t always know or understand what they do, but when things get dicey, you’ll really appreciate their expertise.
(If you don’t have a network security team, you’re risking a lot. Check out that BizVoice story I mentioned above for more about the pitfalls of not being covered by good security measures.)