With the increase in cybercrime in recent years, phishing attempts have gotten common and cause harm to a lot of internet users on a daily basis. According to a report by Verizon in 2019, at least 32% of all data breaches were caused by a phishing attempt. This is an alarming statistic. In this particular article, we will help save you email spam and avoid phishing sites by using safety measures.
What is a Phishing Email?
Phishing is a kind of cybercrime that involves attempts to mislead the recipient into providing their confidential information as a response. The information collected in a phishing attempt is then used in scams.
Phishing emails are designed to make the recipient think it’s from a reputable source and they are tricked into sharing information that they know needs to be kept confidential. In a typical phishing attempt, a cybercriminal may request the following information:
1. Date of Birth
2. Social Security Number
3. Home Address
4. Bank account information
5. Password information
6. Credit card details
7. Phone numbers
These scammers can use this information to impersonate you and apply for loans and credit cards on your behalf. Phishing sites and attempts can cause you serious financial losses.
Beware of These Kinds of Phishing Attempts
A phishing attempt may come in different shapes and forms and before we dive into how you can avoid these vicious attempts, we can walk you through some types you need to be aware of:
Phishing e-mails still contain a large number of devastating data violations worldwide annually. Phishing emails appear to come from a legitimate source, such as customer support from Amazon, a Bank, PayPal, or other recognized agencies. Cybercriminals hide in small details such as a sender’s URL, an attachment link to an email, and more.
This specific phishing attempt in a phishing email depends on previously collected data about the user or the user’s employer by the cybercriminal. The use of wording that compels the victim to act immediately is characteristic of spear-phishing emails.
Using well-crafted emails, this attack contains a link to well-known phishing sites. This link takes the victim to a fake, look-alike version of a popular site and asks the victim to verify or renew their account information.
Cyberspammers send phishing emails that contain URLs to phishing websites, such as the login page of a mobile mail service provider, which requires the victim to fill in their credentials or other details on the interface of the fake site.
This example of a phishing attack uses an email address that is familiar to the victim, including the CEO, HRM, or IT support department of the organization.
Other kinds of attempts
Other kinds of attempts include:
- Injected content
- Session hijacking
- Disguised Wi-Fi
- Man in the Middle
The key is to always use the best VPN for Google Chrome and other browsers to save you from spam emails and phishing sites.
What is the Best Protection Against Phishing?
1. Don’t click on links
Avoid clicking on links in emails and messages. No matter who it is from. Always hover on the link and rule out a phishing attempt.
2. Use a VPN
Always use a VPN for windows and Mac. This will allow you to filter out harmful websites because they will connect to a remote server before connecting to your device. You can try VeePN’s VPN and do a free trial to see the security benefits.
3. Never give information out on unsecured websites
Stay away from the scam of phishing sites and do not give out information on websites that are suspicious. Only give credit to websites that have an SSL certificate (the little padlock sign on the left of the URL).
4. Keep changing those passwords
Always keep a deadline for changing your passwords. Never use predictable passwords. Always use a good combination of letters, numbers, symbols, and special characters. This will help you avoid phishing attempts through passwords.
5. Don’t ignore security updates
Let’s face it, we all hate updates and we all ignore them but they have important security patches to cover the loopholes found in the last update. Always take time to update your OS and take advantage of these security patches.
6. Install Firewalls
Firewalls are a great defense against malicious phishing sites and attempts. Both desktop and network firewalls can strengthen your security and minimize the likelihood of a hacker infiltrating your environment when used together.
7. Don’t get fooled by these pop-ups
Pop-ups are not just irritating; as part of phishing attempts, they are often linked to malware. Most browsers now allow you to download and install free ad blockers which block most malicious pop-ups automatically. But don’t be inclined to click if you manage to evade the ad-blocker!
8. Keep Private Information, Private
Always be skeptical about the information you are giving out. Not everyone asking for your information means well. You need to make sure that you keep critical information safe. Until or unless you absolutely need to give this data to someone you trust. Never divulge it in emails or over messages.
Phishing attempts and phishing sites are a real threat to your cybersecurity. They can cause major harm to both individuals and businesses. If your bank account information or other critical information gets out, you can be made bankrupt or framed in major scams. Always use a secure network and a VPN to connect to the internet and avoid giving out information over the web at all costs.