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Phishing attacks have long been a major threat for individuals and organizations ever since emails have been used as means of online communication. These attacks have been one of the most common methods used by hackers to sabotage their victims’ accounts and take control over the networks. Studies reveal that every one out of two thousand emails is targeted by a phishing email attempt, which means there are around 135 million phishing attacks every single day! And anyone can fall a victim to these scams, including you. This is why choosing a secure and reliable internet connection, like Time Warner Internet, in the first place, counts a lot towards keeping at bay from such phishing attempts. This internet service, unlike many out there, comes with advanced antivirus protection. So, it can help you filter out any suspicious emails or malware trying to enter your system as an added security measure.
Apart from that, certain tips come in handy to eliminate the risk of being confused by innocuous-seeming emails intended by scammers to steal sensitive information. Therefore, staying alert and being more aware of phishing tricks for better defense can save you from any irreversible damage. So, without further ado, let’s get going!
What Is Meant By Phishing?
Phishing refers to a fraudulent activity where scammers send out malicious emails, intended to dupe the users via infectious downloads or links, to access their personal information and misuse it. You would be surprised to know that as many as 91% of cyber-attacks are generated through such deceiving phishing email campaigns, often resulting in ultimate disaster for a user or organization. Here is a look at the various modes of phishing, so you can stay wary of how they might look like.
Various Phishing Methods
One of the most common tactics used by scammers is to send out countless general emails to as many users as possible with the intention of baiting them, so there is a higher probability of fooling more of them into the trap that is set up. Yet, this is not the only method used by hackers to catch a victim. There are scammers out there who use more tricky and sophisticated methods that are hard to crack by ordinary users. Mentioned here are some of these precise methods of phishing attacks:
Spear phishing and whaling is a phishing trick that involves sending emails from trusted sources. These emails target a rather more specific set of individuals, to steal their credentials and other confidential information.
These phishing email attacks can be aimed towards a bigger fish, like upper-management executives of a company or higher-level officials instead of a whole team or department. These phishing emails are meant to somehow convince members of any organization to reveal sensitive information that can be of benefit to the attacker. So, in the case of spear-phishing and whaling, hackers often perform in-depth research with the hope of impersonating the higher officials and using their authority to trick employees. For instance, a scammer can pose to be the CEO of an organization and ask any employee for their details by sending a fraudulent email.
Clone phishing attacks are not as focused as spear phishing but they can be equally treacherous. In this particular phishing style, the hacker might pose as an employee of the organization with a certain request that is usually copied from any of the legitimate ones previously made and sent. The main difference is that the real link of the original email is replaced with a malicious one, which is meant to redirect the victim to a fraudulent site where the user can be deceived to enter his or her credentials. The hacker steals these credentials to access the original site and does havoc.
How To Prevent Phishing Attacks?
First thing’s first, prevention against phishing scams requires knowledge and awareness. You have to be aware to identify these convincing emails from the get-go and expose the phishing attempts. Here is what you can do to steer safe from the bait and hook:
- Make sure you double-check the sender’s name and email account domain, etc. A legitimate and sensitive email is almost always sent from a private domain.
- Look out for any spelling mistakes in the entire email, and any urgent request for your credentials.
- Never open or download attachments from unknown suspicious links.
- If you have any doubts regarding any such email you receive, report them as early as possible to the IT security and relevant authorities for looking into the matter and taking abrupt action if needed.
It is true to say that wisdom is power, especially when it comes to driving safe from any phishing scams. As the digital world continues to grow, so do the phishing techniques and attacking styles, so it is important to keep educating yourself and follow the aforementioned preventive tips to stay safe.