Phishing Attacks: What They Are and How to Protect Yourself


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Phishing attacks are on the rise, and it’s more important than ever to know how to protect yourself from them. With the discount season coming soon, hackers increase their attacks. Make sure to check out the Cyber Monday phishing 2022 tips to stay safe. In this blog post, we will discuss what phishing attacks are and how you can protect yourself from them. We will also provide some tips for spotting a phishing attack before it’s too late.

What is phishing?

Phishing is a type of cyber attack that uses fraudulent emails or websites to trick users into revealing personal information, such as login credentials or credit card numbers. The attackers then use this information to gain access to the victim’s accounts or commit identity theft.

How do phishing attacks work?

Phishing attacks usually start with an email from what appears to be a legitimate source, such as a bank or online retailer. The email will often try to trick the recipient into clicking on a link that takes them to a fake website that looks identical to the real one. Once on the fake website, the victim is asked to enter their personal information, which the attacker then collects.

Steps to protect yourself from phishing attacks

Use security software on your computer

Anti-virus and anti-spyware software can help protect your computer from phishing attacks. Keep your software program updated automatically;  this will help protect against new security threats.

Never click on links in emails:

If you’re not sure whether an email is genuine, don’t click on any links. Instead, type the website’s address into your browser to see if it takes you to the right place.

Be cautious of attachments:

Attachments can contain malware that will infect your computer if you open them. Unless you’re expecting an attachment from someone, don’t open it.

Keep your personal information private:

Don’t give out personal information like your Social Security number or credit card number unless you’re absolutely sure to whom you’re giving it.

Use multifactor authentication on your accounts:

When available, use multifactor authentication to log into your accounts. This adds an extra layer of security by requiring you to enter a code that is sent to your phone in addition to your username and password.

Back up all your data:

Make sure you have a backup of all your essential data in case your device is hacked. That way, if your information is stolen, you can still access your documents. Make an external hard drive or use the cloud to back up the data on your computer. Don’t forget to back up the data on your phone, too.

Being mindful of phishing messages is the key to avoiding them. Here are some tips on how to protect yourself, as well as what red flags to look out for.

Learn to spot a phishing message

Cybercriminals have been able to use emails, text messages, and direct messages on social media or video games to get personal information from individuals. The best way to protect yourself is by knowing the risks and being vigilant. Here are some signs that an email is fraudulent:

Sense of urgency:

If an email says you have to take action now- whether it’s clicking, calling, or opening an attachment- be wary. Often, these emails try to trick you by saying you’ll miss out on a reward or face some sort of punishment if you don’t act immediately. Creating false urgency is a common sign of phishing attacks and scams so that the recipient won’t think too much about the email and will instead act rashly.

Poor spelling and grammar:

Professional businesses and organizations frequently have an editorial staff to ensure that purchasers receive high-quality, professional material. An email message with obvious spelling or grammatical errors might be a fraud. These mistakes are sometimes the consequence of poor translation from a foreign language, and they’re also deliberate in order to avoid filters that try to block these assaults.

First-time senders:

It’s not unusual to receive an email from someone for the first time, especially if they are from a company you are not related to. This might be a clue of phishing since it may indicate that you’re dealing with a new sender and therefore need to look more closely at the message before proceeding.

Email addresses with mismatched email domains:

Legitimate companies, or your bank, will never send you an email from a generic Gmail.com account. Be wary of subtle misspellings in the domain name as well- scammers are crafty and may try to trick you with replaced letters.

Generic greetings:

Your name should be known to a business that is interested in you, and these days it’s simple to customize an email. A generic “Dear sir or madam” at the start of the message is a red flag indicating that it might not be from your bank or shopping site.

Conclusion:

By following the tips above, you can help protect yourself from phishing attacks. Be aware of what to look for in a fraudulent email and take steps to secure your data. Cybercriminals are constantly finding new ways to steal personal information, so it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest scams.

 


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