In our world today, elder law and estate planning law firms need to be online. But being on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram means you might run into sneaky online tricks called “phishing” scams. “Phishing” is a type of fraud that’s carried out online via email, social media, or advertisement.
At Bambiz, we know how important it is for law firms to keep their information safe. That’s why we put together this easy guide to help you stay one step ahead of these online tricksters.
Phishing scams are a major threat to law firms, with 66% of law firms reporting being targeted by a phishing attack in the past year, according to a 2022 report by the American Bar Association (ABA).
What Are Phishing Scams?
Phishing scams are when someone tries to trick you on the internet. They want you to give them private information, like your passwords or your client’s personal details.
For lawyers working with older adults and helping people plan their estates, these scams can be a big problem. They can break your clients’ trust and hurt your reputation.
These online thieves can be really clever. They might pretend to be from “Facebook Business Support” or the “Instagram Help Center” to make you trust them. They often try to scare you with fake warnings about copyright problems or security issues, so you’ll act fast without thinking.
This is an example of a Phishing scam sent to one of our Attorney Clients via Facebook Messenger.
How Can Your Law Firm Spot Phishing Scams?
The first step in staying safe online is knowing how to tell if something is a scam. Real companies usually don’t send messages out of the blue.
If you didn’t ask for help or report a problem, be careful with any surprise emails or messages.
Here’s what you should look out for:
- Messages You Didn’t Expect: Real companies usually don’t send messages unless you talk to them first. It might be a scam if you get a message you weren’t expecting.
- Unusual Links: Most real messages won’t ask you to click on a link. Be careful, especially if the link looks strange or is really short.
- Scary Messages: Real companies don’t try to scare you. If a message seems scary, it might be a trick.
- Wrong Email Addresses: Check the email address that sent you a message. If it doesn’t look right, it might be fake.
- Grammar and Punctuation Mistakes: Emails with multiple errors or very obvious mistakes that someone in that purported role likely won’t make should be treated as suspicious.
This is an example of a Phishing scam that one of our Law Firm Clients received as a Facebook notification.
How to Protect Your Firm with Extra Security
One of the best ways to keep your firm’s online accounts safe is by using something called two-factor or multi-factor authentication (MFA).
This is a fancy way of saying that to log in, you need to prove you’re really you in multiple ways. It’s like having a second lock on your door.
MFA is important because it makes your accounts really hard to break into. Even if someone gets your password, they’d still need something else, like a code sent to your phone, to get in.
How to Set Up MFA for Facebook and Instagram:
- Click ‘Settings’ on your Facebook page.
- Choose ‘Security and Login’ on the side.
- Find ‘Two-Factor Authentication’ and click ‘Edit,’ then ‘Get Started.’
- Follow the steps, like picking if you want a text message or using an app for extra security.
- Open the app and go to your profile. Tap the menu at the top right.
Press ‘Settings,’ then ‘Security.’
- Find ‘Two-Factor Authentication’ under ‘Login Security.’
- Click ‘Get Started’ and pick if you want a text message or to use an app for your extra security.
But remember, even with MFA, you still have to watch out for scams trying to trick you into giving away your extra security code.
Why MFA Is Super Important for Law Firms
Law firms working with elder law and estate planning have a lot of important information they have to keep safe. A scam breaking into your digital world could cause big problems. You could lose your clients’ trust or even get in trouble with the law.
With more online thieves trying to target law firms, having a password isn’t enough anymore. MFA is like a strong gate that keeps your information safe, and it helps everyone feel more secure.
Closing Thoughts: Making Your Online World Safer
Being online has lots of benefits, but it can also be risky. Social media helps you talk to clients and makes your firm more visible, but it can also let in scams that could harm your reputation.
Bambiz is here to give your firm the tools and know-how to do well and stay safe online. Knowing what to look out for and using strong security measures can keep your and your client’s information safe.
Schedule a free 15-minute meeting to learn how we can help your elder law or estate planning law firm with marketing, letting you focus on what you do best.