Phishing attacks have increased in recent years. Such attacks are a major problem for both individuals and organisations alike. Attacks have reached record highs in recent years, and the more victims, the higher the possibilities of more phishing attempts.
Everyone needs to be aware of phishing attempts as they keep increasing with no indication that they will stop anytime soon. In this article, we discuss ways and means on how to remain vigilant against such attacks.
First off, let us discuss what phishing is. It is a means for cybercriminals to steal personal and sensitive information, together with identity theft. There are several examples of phishing attacks against big companies such as eBay, for one. It is the belief of several information security specialists that phishing attempts are ways to get into an organisation’s internal systems to launch more sophisticated and damaging attacks.
So how can you be more protected against phishing attacks?
Never open a link or download an attachment unless you are absolutely sure about the source. This also applies for social media where you may be least expecting an attack. Also be wary about a source asking you for personal information over an email. A popular phishing example would be an impostor pretending to be your bank and asking you personal information via email. Your bank would never do that, so it is most likely a scam to steal your personal information.
Steer away from shortened links
Another common attempt for cybercriminals to steal your information would be to publish shortened links via Bitly and other similar services, to lure you into clicking since you would presume it is a legitimate link. To test, you should hover over it and see if the actual URL is the same as the published link.
Strangely written emails
Many of these phishing emails are quite easy to identify. They would be written in poor English with several grammatical errors which immediately dilute their credibility. The subject matter would also be hard to believe. You are unlikely to have someone related to you in another country who you never heard of, leaving you a fortune which will change your life. Another warning sign is when you are given an urgent deadline to respond.
Watch out for https
Always be vigilant in the sense that the websites you view are secure, which is indicated by the URL starting with https:// and the security lock icon. This is all the more important when you are submitting personal information such as credit card details.
Be careful when surfing. You could easily fall prey to malicious attempts.