Let’s talk about a fishy business that has been making waves at Vincentian: phishing and spearphishing.

Picture this: you are at your computer or iPad, tackling your never-ending-to-do-list, when an email suddenly comes through. It’s from an unfamiliar sender, claiming to be a relative, offering you a million bucks if you click on this suspicious link. Sounds tempting, right? Wrong! The next day you get a text message from your manager at Vincentian. It is not a number your recognize, but the tone is serious. Sounds serious, right? Wrong!

These are examples of phishing, it’s like fishing, but instead of reeling in trout, cybercriminals are angling for our resident sensitive information. And if we take the bait, it’s game over.

Now, you might be thinking, “But I’m just a humble healthcare worker, what could cybercriminals possibly want from me?” They want it all – patient records, insurance details, financial records, all of it. And they’ll stop at nothing to get it, even if it means posing as your friendly IT employee, your manager, or even the CEO. We promise Dean Owrey is not texting to request you send him a gift card.

Vincentian is not alone in this; the Office of Civil Rights notes there was a 278% increase in large breaches since 2018.

To protect our company, our residents, and ourselves, follow these tips to keep the phishers at bay:

  1. Stay Skeptical: If the email seems too good to be true—like winning the Irish lottery—it probably is. Think twice before clicking on links or downloading attachments from unknown sources.
  1. Check the Net: Hover over links before clicking on them to see where they actually lead. If it looks fishy, it is probably a phish. 
  1. Keep It Reel: Report any suspicious emails to our IT department or just delete them. If it was an important email, the person will get in touch with you.
  1. Hook, Line, and Thinker: Remember, cybercriminals prey on our emotions—fear, curiosity, greed. Stay cool under pressure and think before you click or provide any information.

Stay sharp, stay safe, and keep phishing for compliments—not passwords.