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Pharming and Phishing and Smishing… add these to the list of latest threats to your practice data security

Pharming and Phishing and Smishing… add these to the list of latest threats to your practice data security


Posted on 5/5/2016 by Angela SpinksAngela Spinks

Three words that did not even exist a couple of years ago ”“ at least not spelled like this ”“ are now mainstream threats. They’re right up there with spam and scams, spoofing and spyware, hacking and botnets, malware, viruses, worms, ransomware, Trojan horses and, yes, WiFi eavesdropping.

I’ve already written about some of these types of cybercrime in this space, in particular the ones that have been known to affect small businesses with big sensitivity to database privacy, like dental practices.

But online fraud is everywhere. I used to think that it was only the naive non-digital-savvy individuals who got themselves duped with such schemes. No longer. Hackers and scammers are getting more and more sophisticated. Like the recent spate of official-sounding telephone calls directing taxpayers to a spoofed Canada Revenue Agency website to pay re-assessed taxes ”“ that would make most of us sit up and take notice.

So when I came across the Get Cyber Safe website sponsored by Public Safety Canada, I double-checked to make sure it was legit. The site is part of a national public awareness campaign around Internet security and online protection. It is full of great information and advice, from tips to safely dispose of your tech devices to precautions to take when an employee leaves your company. There’s even a downloadable Get Cyber Safe Guide for Small and Medium Businesses and a self-assessment tool that could be quite handy resources. www.getcybersafe.ca

Even if you don’t have time today to check out this site, at least bookmark it for future reference.

We all need to learn to be skeptical ”“ even if it’s against our nature. We must learn to detect fraud and protect ourselves, our businesses, our patients, our employees and our families from becoming victims of cybercrime.

Ps: I had to look up “smishing”: it is ‘phishing’ for private information using SMS (texting) rather than email.


Angela SpinksAngela Spinks
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