As the summer vacation season has officially kicked off, many of us will be using an “Out of Office” reply for our emails. Using this email reply is common, especially during the summer months. Along with the “Out of Office” threat, we should also expect to see phishing emails with enticing offers for discounted travel and vacations. Phishers don’t take summers off!

Out of office

Many of us will use this email reply to let people know we will not be immediately replying to their email. When phishers see this email reply, they may try to impersonate you while you are gone by sending emails to your coworkers. These typically will be business email compromises  making quick requests. It is important to remember when your coworker is out on vacation, to pay extra attention to any emails you receive from them. Try to verify it is legitimate and also consider asking their supervisor to confirm they are out of office.

Discounts, sales, low-prices

Who doesn’t like discounted travel and lodging? Vacations are expensive, I will take that deal! Similar to receiving a business email compromise, you want to check the sender of the email, did it come from a legitimate organization. Can you verify this offer on their website? Can you call the organization and receive the same offer on the phone? It is important to scrutinize those discounted deals before providing any private information.

Phishing attacks

Phishing attacks continue to be more sophisticated as we get better at recognizing them. This means we need to continue to be extra diligent when replying to our emails. If the email seems unusual or too good to be true, try to verify its legitimacy. If you receive a request from a coworker who is out of office, reach out to their supervisor and verify the sender. 

To learn more about protecting your small business from summer vacation season phishing scams and other current cybersecurity trends, threats, or tips visit Small Business, Big Threat!