Stop Phishing on National Clean Out Your Computer Day

Starting in the year 2000, The Institute for Business Technology began sponsoring a seemingly silly holiday called “National Clean Out Your Computer Day.” But unlike “Groundhog Day,” this tradition could actually help you protect yourself from harmful elements. With Spear Phishing attacks becoming more common and complex, February 11 is the perfect day to take a moment to make sure you’re doing your due diligence. Here are a few reasons why being more devout in your observance of this underrated annual ceremony is in your best interest.

It’s No Fun Being the Phish

Spear phishing might sound like a fun way to spend a vacation in Hawaii, but it’s actually a scarily sophisticated scheme that will quickly ruin the sunny disposition in your workplace. In a spear phishing attack, hackers pose as seemingly trustworthy sources and send emails designed to get you to click a link, download a file, or respond to an urgent request before you’ve fully thought things through. Spear phishing is usually targeted, with a long-term plan set in place to learn about you or your employees and fool the target with personalized information that makes the requests within seem reasonable and credible. Because human error is the most reliable vulnerability cyber attackers can exploit, these breaches are incredibly commonplace. An October 2017 study by the Better Business Bureau showed that 90 percent of cyberattacks targeting businesses come through phishing emails.

Unfortunately for many businesses, these attacks work because they’re very believable. A recent attempt targeted Netflix subscribers by sending emails addressing users by name and stating that their account had been deactivated due to billing issues. They were then linked to a site where they were asked to provide credit card details and other sensitive information. A breach like this is just one of many high-profile examples that show how a basic “fake email” tactic is enough to infiltrate even the largest organizations.

Celebrating Creates Peace of Mind

If appropriately spent, “National Clean Up Your Computer Day” on February 11 can be the perfect time to take all the proper precautions to prevent attacks like these.

Start the day by double checking your email filters. Email filters prevent spam and seemingly malicious messages from reaching you at all, so you won’t even consider responding to them. Taking this a step further, consider implementing a Sender Policy Framework (SPF) to help you prevent spoofing of your email addresses.

Next, do some cleanup. If you haven’t cleared them in a while, who knows what potential dangers are lurking in the darkness of your overflowing spam, inbox, and download folders? Getting rid of this unwanted clutter will remove potential pitfalls and create more space in your system to work with.

Finally, call a meeting and make sure your entire workforce is aware of the current risks and taking the same precautions. It’s always essential to make sure everyone in your organization understands potential risks and is on the same page about preventing hackers from finding a way to worm their way into your systems.

A Powerful Partner Can Protect You

Worried you might get phished? Celebrate “National Clean Out Your Computer Day” by partnering with an MSP who can help you stay safe. Working with 101 Digital will help alleviate stress about all types of phishing schemes and free you up to focus on the aspects of your business you really want to be worrying about. We will be your trusted partner who continuously arms you with the know-how and required tools to confront the latest cybersecurity threats. If you truly value your time and safety, contact 101 Digital today to learn how we can help keep you from staying late to clear out your computer.