Give a criminal a chance to take advantage of a vulnerable system and they will take advantage of it every time. Lately, their target of choice has been the Google Docs program. This program is highly popular with office workers, educators, students, and more. Therefore, the scammers see a target-rich environment that they would like to exploit. This begs the question, what should you do to help keep yourself safe and secure from Google Docs phishing attacks?

How Google Docs Phishing Attacks Work

To best understand how to keep yourself protected from the attack you must first understand how it works. Knowing about the inner workings of a scam can help insulate you from the worst impacts of that scam. There are many different ways that Google Docs phishing attacks may work. It often follows these steps:

  • The scammer will create a Google account to create a Google Document. They will use the @ symbol of the victim that they are attempting to target.

  • The link in the comment leads to an infected file.

  • The comment causes the victim to receive a legitimate Google notice that will appear completely normal to them.

  • The comment on the email that the victim receives also contains links to malware and other potential viruses that they may inadvertently add to their computer if they click on the link.

Other Ways Google Docs Phishing Attacks Play Out

For example, some have noted this series of events:

  • What appears to be a legitimate and accurate Google Doc appears in inboxes from a past business partner

  • The scammer delivers the email from an address that is only slightly off

  • The content of the Google Doc made sense, but the timing did not

  • Cybersecurity professionals within the organization may be added to the Google Doc to make it appear more legitimate.

  • A pop-up on the Google Doc requests that it be shared far and wide within the company. Delete this document immediately as it is likely linked to malware or other scams.

Just like that, one can accidentally infect their computer and cause significant security damage to their system. It is frustrating to see notifications that appear legitimate only to learn that they are not and that you have been duped. Sadly, these Google Docs phishing attacks are on the rise. That is precisely why everyone needs to know what they can do to insulate themselves from the possibility of getting hacked.

Putting Up Your Best Defense

Phishing scams are not a new phenomenon. However, the hackers that put them into play these days are more sophisticated than before. That is why you must remain on guard to protect yourself from the potential for attack. Putting up your best defense against these types of attacks means following best practices when it comes to avoiding getting scammed. Here are a few steps you can take to keep yourself protected:

Avoid Fake or Forged Sites

One of the tactics that scammers like to use is to create a fake website that appears to be just like the real thing. However, if you look a little closer at what you are logging onto, you might find that it is not what you intended to get involved with. Additionally, look for the tell-tell signs of a fake website. Always double-check that you are on the authentic website.

Get an Anti-Phishing Toolbar Installed

Believe it or not, there are anti-phishing toolbars that might prove helpful to you. These toolbars can keep you safe and protected from scammers who want to take you for all that you are worth. The use of this type of toolbar is extremely helpful. You can get an alert indicating that you might be about to fall victim to an attack. This will at least give you a heads-up that something could be wrong. You should also respond to the threat of an attack by leaving the site that you are on right away.

Don't Trust Links in Your Email

Just because an email appears to come from a legitimate source does not mean that it truly has. You should NOT trust any random links that are sent to your email. Remember, there are still potentially bad actors out there who will gladly send you an email with a malicious link in it. Don't trust the emails you receive without investigating them further. If you are uncertain about the validity of an email, just delete it and speak with the sender to confirm that they sent you something at all.

Keep Your Browser Updated

This can be one of the most important things you can do to keep yourself safe from attacks. Keep your browser updated. Hackers can't easily exploit the older system that you might have been using before. Updating your browser is easy and something that you should do consistently to keep yourself safe.

Confirm the Sender's E-mail

Professionals within the cybersecurity realm state that it is best to insist that employees confirm the sender's e-mail is a match for the person it claims to be from. Let them know that they should always delete the email if they have any questions at all about its authenticity.

These are a few of the simple ways you can work on building up your defenses against those who might want to take advantage. Hackers are constantly working on new and innovative ways to get at your information, so you need to do your best to stay on top of things. That said, if you are keeping an eagle's eye on how things develop in the world of online scams, you should be all set to keep yourself safe out there.