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How to Protect Yourself from Phishing

How to Protect Yourself from Phishing

Friday, October 21, 2022

Identity thieves become more clever as the world continues to advance and evolve. As a result, scammers constantly develop new and nearly undetected ways to trick their targets.

Identity thieves become more clever as the world and technology continue to advance and evolve. As a result, scammers constantly develop new and nearly undetected ways to trick their targets. The most common way to be defrauded online is through Phishing. This year's report from the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) reveals that the number of phishing attacks has risen dramatically in recent years. It is a significant problem that threatens individuals and businesses alike.

Such attacks are common these days and are very hard to avoid. Let's be honest. Cybercriminals are a crafty bunch. But worry not! This article is intended to help you and your business protect yourself against phishing attacks. We'll give an overview of the characteristics of Phishing, how these attacks work, and steps to identify them and defend yourself from Phishing Attacks.

What is Phishing?

One of the most common security threats you should be aware of is Phishing. Phishing is when someone tries to trick you into revealing personal information, such as your Social Security Number, credit card number, bank account password, or other sensitive info. Unfortunately, many people fall for these phishing scams because they come from a legitimate source.

In simple words, Phishing is mostly a fake login page of any official website created by Phisher, or you can call them black hat hackers, and this page is hosted on a server & then the link of the fake page is given to the victim and when the victim clicks on the link. The login page is shown to him, and he submits his data to it. The Phisher receives this data. A person submits his information because a phisher or black hat hacker pretends to be an official member of that organization or company, & a person doesn't know that the link he has clicked and submitted their information is fake because the counterfeit looks the same as an official link.

Phishing aims to get victims' sensitive personal data by using emails, phone calls, and text messages, or sometimes you can get a phishing link on social media accounts. If it's done through email, scammers use misleading emails that pretend to be from a legitimate entity to trick an individual into clicking on a malicious link or downloading malware, for example. Some phishing scams are done over the phone (voice phishing) or through text messages (SMS). Regardless of the technique used, any phishing goal is always to convince an individual they need sensitive information, so they'll later take advantage of it illegally. If you receive a suspicious message it asks for any of that sensitive information, don't provide it. Instead, change your passwords immediately. Never give those things out in an email.

How to Identify a Phishing Attack

Phishing attacks come in many different shapes and sizes. Nonetheless, they all have specific characteristics that help us identify them as potential phishing attacks. In addition, most phishing attacks can be broken down based on what they try to get the victim to do.

Handing over sensitive information: These messages try to trick people into thinking they're talking to a trustworthy source. The email comes from a hacker looking to get your usernames and passwords. These emails are often highly authentic, with logos, legitimate content formatting, etc. However, they'll ask you to click on a link that will take you to a malicious web page where you provide your username and password, allowing the hacker access to your accounts.

Downloading malware: When you receive an email with a suspicious attachment, it's essential to assume the worst. These types of phishing emails try to trick you into unknowingly downloading malware. They come from a familiar or trustworthy source and are designed to convince you to download infected files. However, that's not the only thing dangerous emails can do. For example, if a friend's or coworker's account was hacked, hackers could send you a "resume" with malicious code embedded in it. And imagine if HR staff received an email from someone who pretended to be a job candidate!

Recognizing Phishing and fake websites

Scammers constantly change their tricks to get you to believe the scam. So if you're unsure if a website or email is legit, then watch out for these warning signs:

Incorrect URL: If the site's URL differs from your bank, it's probably a fake. Hover your cursor over the link in the email to see if it directs you to the same site that the email came from.

All caps in email subject lines: Scammers often use all caps in email subject lines to lure you in. We never use all-caps in our subject lines, indicating that the email is untrustworthy.

Many undisclosed recipients: When you receive an email from us that lists multiple undisclosed recipients, know that it is a scam. If other recipients are on the email, it is most likely trying to collect your personal information. At Affiliate, we consider our customer's individuals and will only send them the emails they have signed up for. In addition, we take customer privacy seriously and don't spam other people with offers or promotions. 

Banking information: Don't fall victim to banking fraud! Banks won't ask for your account information through email. However, many phishing scams pretend to be real banks but use fake emails or websites to ask for sensitive details, including your Social Security number.

Confirm sensitive account info: Avoid confirming sensitive account info: If you've been asked to verify sensitive account information, this could be a scam, so double-check.

Public internet account: The first thing you should always do before clicking on any link in an email is to look at the sender's email address. If you see it isn't a typical business domain but claims to be from your bank or another company, don't trust the email; delete it.

Generic customer name: If you get an email from your bank that doesn't include your full first and last name, it's likely a scam. Real banks will address emails to you by your first and last name.

Misspelled words: Just because a website or email looks like it's from a large company doesn't mean it is. If you see errors or typos in the website or email, don't enter any personal information on the site.

Not a secure site: information may be intercepted in transit, or the site might keep records of your payment. Legitimate e-commerce sites use encryption and scrambling to ensure that your financial information is safe. You can verify this by checking for a lock symbol in the browser window and a web address starting with https:// instead of http://

Low-resolution images: Here are a few low-resolution image clues that could mean a site is bogus: logos and text that look like they've been created in an image editor, blurred photos, and photos with unsightly artifacts.

Avoiding phishing scams

You've probably already heard of email hacking and phishing scams. But as a best user practice, you should educate yourself on the latest tools hackers use to steal personal information.

It would be best if you also were cautious when downloading email attachments or files unless you trust the sender. And let's not forget to stay vigilant both offline and online.

Monitor bank and credit card statements for suspicious charges and frequently change your password.

Make sure your passwords are strong by combining letters, numbers, and special characters.

Only believe some of what you read online. Phishers will use urgency and scare tactics to trick you into thinking their messages are authentic. Check links carefully by hovering your mouse over the link and looking for typos or suspicious destinations.

If you receive a message with an unexpected attachment, never open it, as phishers can infect these attachments with scripts that will compromise your system and steal your data. Remember that legitimate organizations will never ask to provide personal information in reply to an email. Go to the source - if you get directed to a website under pretenses, make sure it is an official site.

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