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What PR pros need to know about phishing and ransomware

By Bre Chamley

A hacker on a computer.

As marketing, PR, and communications employees, you use email constantly. This means you are vulnerable to the estimated 94% of ransomware that arrives via email, according to CSO Online. Ransomware is malware that encrypts your files, making any other files and systems that depend on them unstable.


You likely use email to send and receive sensitive company information. To protect this data, you need to protect yourself from fraudulent messages and scams.


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Using email also puts you at risk of phishing: the fraudulent practice of impersonating reputable companies to persuade you to reveal personal information.


As a trusted public relations advisor to cybersecurity companies and organizations seeking helpful expert guidance on corporate communication before, during, and after a cyber attack, we've provided these tips to help you keep your information safe when deciding whether an email is legitimate. 



Three Tips to Protect Yourself from Fraudulent Messages and Scams:

  1. Report suspicious emails to protect others.
    If you don’t report a suspicious email, another receiver will likely click on it. When you report suspicious activity, you can stop others from being tricked. 

  2. Back up your data.
    It’s important to back up your data so you can have a secure archive of your important information. That way, if all your data is taken or lost, you have a backup where your company’s information is still available.

  3. Use next-generation antivirus software.
    Next-generation antivirus software keeps an eye on all the files that enter your system. This software scans all your files and checks for any peculiarity or maliciousness. It helps prevent viruses and secures your information.

If you're currently experiencing a cybersecurity incident, book a crisis cybersecurity consultation. Not under duress but looking for help communicating about cybersecurity before a cyber attack? We can help you. Book a free cybersecurity consultation

This post about phishing and ransomware is number four in a series of eight posts on cybersecurity for strategic communications professionals. Click to view the previous post "What PR pros need to know about computer theft and cybersecurity awareness" or the next post "What PR pros need to know about removable media and cybersecurity awareness" in the series.

Photo by Soumil Kumar from Pexels

Topics: cybersecurity

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