What are the Phishing Attacks?
A fraudulent activity or an attempt to trick users into sharing sensitive and private data such as usernames, passwords, and banking details by pretending to be a trustworthy source are termed phishing attacks, check this out. Phishing attacks mainly occur through email communication and online marketing including fake advertisements.
Spear phishing – This is a more personalised way of targeting an individual which works upon three types of potential weaknesses in a victim:
- The source appears fair and trustworthy
- The content or message involve contains information supporting the validity
- The source or request contains logical information
The fraudulent activity is mainly done to draw the recipient into handing over sensitive data or in downloading malware into their system. Phishing activities are of different types and one needs to be aware of them in order to protect their data as well as their system from serious malware which are hard or sometimes difficult to remove.
Recognizing Phishing Attacks
Nowadays, due to the increase in cyberattacks, it becomes quite difficult to determine and look upon a specific phishing attack. The most familiar way hackers try to attack devices is by tricking users to share personal information via email or text messages. This is done in an attempt to steal wallet private keys, passwords, and social security numbers. This information can be used to access banks, accounts and emails by hackers with the aim to steal investment and process malware to devices.
One should stay aware of the actions as scammers often change and update their tactics which becomes difficult to detect. Here are some signs that will help you recognize multiple phishing attacks –
Phishing through emails and text resembles trustworthy and big companies that may look like a dependable source from the bank, a credit card company, an online payment app, a website, or even a social networking site. Scams via mails and texts may involve the following attempts –
- Mentioning that they have witnessed suspicious activity on your network
- Asking for a needed personal data
- Includes a fake invoice
- Claiming that your account has some issues with the payment
- Asking for personal data confirmation
- Asks you to click on a suspicious link to make a payment or confirm a transaction
- Offers a fake coupon for free products and service
- Claiming you are eligible for a government refund
Protection Against Phishing Attacks
Enabling multi-factor authentication – One of the most adequate ways of protecting data and accounts from phishing is to enable multi-factor authentication to provide some extra security to accounts. Multi-factor authentication works by asking for two or more credentials in order to log into accounts which makes it impossible for a hacker to step in. These credentials can be a passcode via an authentication app or security key, or a fingerprint or face scan. Authentication through two or more trustworthy credentials prevents scams and suspicious login into accounts, irrespective of your username and password getting exposed to them.
Data backup – Another splendid way to protect data is to back it up on a regular basis. This means saving your data on a designated path that can be accessed by you only. While backing up private information, make sure it is not connected to a home network. The most prominent benefit of this type of prevention method is one can copy these files to an external device such as a hard drive or even cloud storage.
Regular activity monitoring – People often forget to monitor activities on their accounts which give more chances to scammers for access accounts. The best method to monitor account activity is to inspect credit reports every year. Reviewing credit card and bank account statements is crucial and allows one to have more control over their payments and transaction history. According to federal law, major credit reporting companies are required to provide free credit reports every year. Credit reports allow you to look for inaccuracy and unfamiliar account information.
Phishing activities can be avoided through some basic but needed security practices which include regular updating of passwords, running a virus scan on every device, updating the operating system with security patches, using only approved storage applications and platforms, and keeping software updated. Moreover, one must stay aware of everyday phishing activities being reported as more and more people are developing themselves..