Phishing is an online scam in which hackers attempt to steal people's personal information by sending them fraudulent emails or messages. These emails often appear to be from legitimate companies, such as banks or credit card companies. Microsoft 365 Defender can help protect users from phishing scams, and here’s how.
Phishing is one of the most common methods used by cybercriminals to steal sensitive information such as login credentials and credit card numbers. Phishers typically send out emails purportedly from a legitimate source such as a bank or government agency. To gain their victims’ trust, they may use underhanded tactics, such as referring to the victims by their nicknames. These scammers may even take control of email accounts to further deceive their targets.
Microsoft 365 Defender has a variety of tools and features to help businesses defend against phishing attacks, including standard anti-malware solutions, to distinguish between acceptable and suspicious behaviors. Defender uses machine learning to create a list of contacts that users communicate with most frequently.
Emails containing malware, such as ransomware and spyware, can infect your computer when opened. Ransomware locks users out of their systems and files until a ransom is paid. Spyware, on the other hand, steals data by recording keystrokes, copying clipboards, taking screenshots, and more.
Unlike other security programs that only use one line of defense, Defender utilizes multiple layers to protect against known and unknown malware. This not only filters harmful attachments but also aids in real-time threat response. Microsoft regularly releases updates to keep its defenses effective against the most current threats.
As mentioned, phishing attacks typically use spam emails to dupe victims. By blocking spam emails, you can greatly reduce your chances of falling prey to such an attack.
Defender's advanced anti-spam technology works by analyzing both an email's source and contents. Emails from untrustworthy or suspected sources are automatically moved to the Spam folder. In addition, this feature monitors company activity regularly to prevent anyone from sending spam emails.
Unfortunately, people sometimes open email attachments without thinking, which can cause harmful software to enter their computers. Defender protects you from this threat by sandboxing all email attachments. Microsoft will send you a warning message if the file appears to be unsafe so you don’t click on or download it. However, if it's safe, you'll be able to open it without any issues.
Some phishing emails contain URLs that lead to fraudulent websites that are made to steal your personal information. Other times, these URLs will lead you to a page laden with malware.
But with Microsoft 365 Defender’s Safe Links feature, you can avoid being compromised by files linked to malicious URLs. Safe Links scans email links for known malicious hyperlinks to protect users. If the link takes users to a malicious website, Defender will issue a warning to not proceed. If the destination URL is safe, users can open it normally. And even if users don't report any changes, Defender will rescan links and report anything that looks suspicious.
If you're not sure how to get started with Microsoft 365 Defender, our team of experts can help. Contact us today and we'll be happy to guide you through the process of setting up Defender and protecting your data.