Phishing attacks are one of the most widespread and well known types of cyber attack. Yet, they remain one of the most efficient and potentially devastating ones. It’s the duplicitous nature of the attack coupled with the inexperience of some users that make them so detrimental. However, there are some things that you can do to protect yourself from attacks and learn how to identify them. Here are a few tricks for making sure you never fall victim to a phishing scam.
Be Mindful of Your Actions Online
Just changing your habits and actions when navigating the internet could help to greatly reduce the chances that you fall victim. For one, you should refrain from downloading any type of file or opening links from emails unless you’re 100% sure someone you know sent it. Steer clear of any email that asks that you provide personal information. No reputable organization would ask for sensitive information through an email.
Work with an Anti-Phishing Service
If you want to protect your business from phishing attacks, one thing you could do is work with an anti-phishing service. They’ll be able to hunt down people that are collecting information from you and shut them down. They will also add layers of protection against phishing attacks in your organization and use advanced security analysis to make sure that you block all vulnerabilities to these types of attacks.
Think Twice Before Clicking on Shortened Links
Hackers routinely use shortened links on social media to attract people. People are often unsuspecting of shortened links, but they have no idea where they could be sent to. And, hackers will often use these links in a way that looks legitimate too.
Also, when being sent links to sites in emails, make sure that both the address being shown and the address you’re being sent to match. You can see that by placing your pointer over the link’s address. If they aren’t congruent, then this is definitely a sign that something is up.
If an Email Looks Fraudulent, it Probably Is
Some of these fake emails are fairly obvious and you could spot them just by paying more attention to how they’re formatted and written. Typos are a dead giveaway, but watch out for things like impersonal greetings like “Dear Sir/Madam” or “Dear Customer.” Any respectable company will know your name and use it in all its communications.
Watch Out for Urgent Deadlines and Threats
If someone claims that you have to urgently complete an action of any sort through email, pay attention. If you need to do something urgently, the organization will usually try to contact you many times through other methods of communication before they send you an email. Though there are special cases where companies might do this, such as the case with eBay after a data breach, it would be wise to contact them through another method and confirm the information first.
Phishing attacks are rampant, and aren’t going to stop any time soon, no matter how dubious them may seem sometimes. Make sure that you’re well aware of them, and ensure that the people around you can protect themselves from future attacks.