By: Anna Buehler on February 10th, 2021
Cyber-security and Safety Tips for Virtual Tradeshows
With the arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine, a return to the traditional tradeshow experience may still be on the horizon in 2021, but in the interim, virtual trade events will continue to be the primary way for most industries to connect.
The perks of a virtual environment run abundant: no long bathroom lines, aching feet, and hefty travel expenses. However, the very nature of virtual events opens up some pretty scary elements, too: cybercriminals.
Virtual trade environments can open you and your organization up to possible fraud. While fraud is also a possibility at in in-person event, virtual events offer up a different type of access to your organization. It’s easy to get caught off guard because you’re so busy adjusting to your new tradeshow environment, that you might not be on the lookout for scams.
According to Gartner 95% of cloud data breaches are from human error. 95%! Many virtual event technology providers are doing what they can to protect your organization, but here are a few additional tips and tricks from Collabrance, a master managed IT services provider, you can use to keep your business and your employees safe from potential fraud and other cybercrimes.
- The Anonymity of the Internet
- In a virtual tradeshow environment it may not be clear exactly who’s in your booth and who you’re talking to. It’s easy for someone to impersonate anyone to “anonymously” check out what you’re offering.
- Treat every unknown user as a potential customer, just be wary to give away any secret or potentially personal information.
- Chat Requests
- Be aware of who is chat requesting you in the software. Be vigilant not to share any personal information or business information in the chat.
- Make sure your browser has a pop-up blocker turned on.
- Be suspicious of any pop-ups.
- Be cautious of all links and attachments.
- If you are not expecting or not familiar with an email address, be cautious.
- Be cautious the email body is vague. Spelling errors are also a good indication that the sender isn’t interested in a professional exchange but is looking to make money from fraud.
- If you are possibly familiar with sender but were not expecting the email, reach out to the person to see if they did in fact try to email you.
- If the message says “time sensitive” and you’re not familiar with the contents, do not feel the pressure to be rushed. Take the time to investigate the source.Familiarize yourself with popular scams or social engineering tactics (i.e.JohnD@marrillych.com where Merrill Lynch is spelled incorrectly)
- SMS Scamming (SMShing)
- Using SMS text messages, SMShing is similar to phishing but instead of sending an email, hackers send text messages looking to steal personal information or get into bank accounts.
- Often appear to be an urgent message from a bank, credit card, or common shipping carrier with a link for you to click on.
It’s not a bad thing to be suspicious! Remember that like a fence or a firewall, you are the first line of defense to your money and information, and often your company’s money and information even in a virtual tradeshow environment.
Anna Buehler, Marketing Manager in the Automotive Division at GreatAmerica, is responsible for providing creative marketing support and brand education within the Automotive sector. Anna graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Business Marketing.
- Connect with Anna Buehler