Phishing is a common type of email scam in which scammers pose as a trustworthy source to get confidential information or data from you. Scammers are interested in your data to gain access to your bank accounts or credit cards.
Online Security: How to Avoid Email Phishing Scams
Here are some online security tips about how to avoid email phishing scams. You need to know how to avoid scams and never follow a link in a text or email from a well-known organization.
Phishing is most commonly described as the mass mailing of messages purporting to be from well-known brands, banks, payment systems, postal services, and social media platforms.
Scammers force you to follow the link to the site of the “service” and enter confidential data in the appropriate forms. In this way, scammers gain access to user accounts and bank accounts.
- Phishing Attacks and Scammers
Phishing attacks can target both individuals and companies. Most fraud attacks on individuals are to gain access to users’ logins, passwords, and account numbers for banking, payment, social networks, and postal services.
The purpose of a phishing attack may be to install malware on the victim’s computer.
Not all phishers cash out the accounts they have access to on their own. Some scammers after obtaining confidential information they sell it to other scammers who use proven methods to withdraw money from their accounts.
- Techniques of Phishing Attacks (Common Scams)
Social engineering techniques
Posing as representatives of well-known companies. Phishers most often inform recipients that they urgently need to transfer or update their data. This requirement is motivated by data loss, system breakdown, or other similar reasons.
Phishing organizers attempt to frighten the user and elicit an immediate response. They try to catch the recipient’s attention and drive them to click on the connection link for more details.
The most popular form of phishing attack is fraudulent phishing. This method allows scammers to send emails to millions of email addresses in a matter of hours.
To steal personal data, scammers creating phishing sites that imitate real sites. Phishers will do this by using URLs with insignificant typos or subdomains. A phishing site has a similar design and does not arouse suspicion among the users.
Fraudulent phishing is the most common method used by scammers.
Spear phishing targets a specific group of people. Also, this method is the first step to overcome the company’s defenses and conduct a targeted attack on it. Attackers use social media and other services to study their victims, adapting their messages, and acting more professionally.
“Whale hunting” refers to the pursuit of sensitive information from top executives and VIPs. Scammers spend a lot of time discovering victim’s personality characteristics and then determine the best time and method to steal their credentials.
Virus (Common Technique)
Scammers seek to harm individuals or groups of individuals by stealing personal data. The link in a phishing email will download a malicious virus to your computers, such as a Trojan, or spyware when you click it.
- How to Protect Yourself from Phishing and Scammers
Experts advise users (people) to contact the company on whose behalf the message was sent to verify the authenticity of the email.
Almost all authentic messages from services provide details that phishers can’t get, such as a name or the last four digits of an account number. Any letters that do not include any certain personal details should be treated with caution. Read carefully the emails before you reply.
Remember that phishing sites can hide behind pop-ups. The user may see his email address in the “login” column when trying to log in and may be asked to enter the password in the lower column.
You can also meet a link to a phishing site in comments on forums and social networks. A link can also be sent to you by a hacked account of your friend or acquaintance.
It is better not to follow a link that arouses suspicion.
Pay attention to the payment system’s security certificate (the domain name appears in the browser’s address bar like HTTPS)
Change the router’s factory passwords to something more complicated every six months, and make sure the software is up to date.
Do not shop over public Wi-Fi. Antivirus for your smartphone or laptop can provide additional protection.
Before making a payment in an unfamiliar online store, read reviews about it online.
Cyber attacks and scammers have been a part of our online life. Fraud protection is a global challenge for corporations, brands, and startups that develop financially, e-commerce, marketing, and other services.
Online users should not forget the simple steps to avoid scammers and hackers.
Phishing is a huge threat because it is not only the cause of money loss for many users but also the main reason for the leakage of company data. But in most cases, the intentions of scammers are easy to recognize and prevent.