Phishing threats are increasing daily. Cyberattacks continue to rise and the number starting with more sophisticated social engineering and phishing tactics grows larger.

The HR department, which we trust for employment-related matters, is not immune to these cyber threats.

We’re here to provide three crucial tips for employees to keep in mind when faced with HR department-based phishing schemes.

But first, we have to understand why phishing training, phishing awareness, and phishing testing are essential in the fight against these deceptive scams.

The Importance of Phishing Training, Awareness, and Testing

Phishing Training:

Phishing training is an integral part of cybersecurity awareness programs. It equips employees with the knowledge and skills needed to recognize and respond to phishing attempts effectively. In the context of HR-related phishing scams, cyber training and education become even more critical, as these schemes often prey on our trust in our HR departments.

Phishing Awareness:

Phishing awareness involves keeping employees informed about the latest phishing tactics and trends. Employees need to be cautious and vigilant when dealing with HR-related emails or messages. By staying informed and vigilant, employees can identify potential threats more efficiently.

Phishing Testing and Simulation:

Phishing testing and phishing simulation are proactive measures to assess an organization's susceptibility to phishing attacks. These phishing simulations mimic real-world phishing scenarios and help organizations identify weak points in their security posture. By undergoing such phishing simulations, employees can practice their skills in a controlled environment, making them better prepared to detect and respond to HR-related phishing attempts.

With the groundwork set, let’s look at how an organization can train its employees to best spot and defend against HR-based phishing schemes.

Tip 1: Verify the Sender's Identity

One of the most common tactics used in HR-related phishing scams is impersonation. Cybercriminals often pretend to be HR personnel, sending seemingly legitimate communications at first glance. To safeguard against this tactic, always double-check the sender's email address domain. Legitimate HR communications typically come from a company domain, such as "" Be wary of generic or misspelled email addresses that look similar to your company’s standard domain and look out for variations including abbreviations and acronyms as well. When in doubt, contact your HR department directly through established channels to verify the request's authenticity.

Tip 2: Don't Click on Suspicious Links or Download Attachments

Phishers often use enticing links or attachments to trick employees into revealing sensitive information or downloading malware. Even if an email appears to be from HR and urges immediate action, exercise caution. Hover your mouse over links to preview the URL before clicking. If the URL seems suspicious or unfamiliar, refrain from clicking. Avoid downloading attachments from unfamiliar sources. If HR needs you to access a document, they should provide instructions through secure, established channels.

Tip 3: Beware of Urgent Requests for Personal Information

Phishing scams often create a sense of urgency to manipulate victims into sharing personal information. HR-related phishing emails might claim your account needs immediate verification or there's a critical issue with your payroll. Remember, HR departments typically do not request sensitive information like Social Security numbers or passwords via email. If you receive an urgent request for such information, independently verify it through official HR channels before taking any action.

The Bottom Line

Phishing attacks impersonating HR departments are on the rise, and employees must remain vigilant to protect themselves and their organizations. By conducting regular phishing training, staying aware of the latest phishing tactics, and participating in phishing testing and phishing simulation, employees can enhance their ability to spot and thwart HR-related phishing scams.

Remember the three essential tips to mitigate the risk of HR-based phishing: Verify the sender's identity Avoid clicking on suspicious links or downloading attachments Be cautious of urgent requests for personal information.

By following these guidelines, you can play a crucial role in mitigating the human risk associated with HR-based phishing attacks. Stay safe out there and check back often for the latest helpful cybersecurity tips right here.