Types of Phishing Attacks, and Ways to Avoid Them

Phishing is a method used by hackers to gain personal and confidential info using fraudulent websites and deceptive emails. It has emerged as a sophisticated and venerable form of cyberattack. Phishing attempts are aimed to obtain sensitive info such as passwords, credit card credentials, and so on.

People behind these attacks are evil geniuses who masquerade as trustworthy entities. They use emails as their primary weapons to get their hands on sensitive info. The goal is to make the recipients believe that something useful is being shared with them and they need it.

However, emails and websites are not the only ways. My friend got a call and someone acting as an ISP rep offering unbelievable discounts. That person was asking her to pay a small amount online and in return, he promised to add some sort of ultra-premium Charter Spectrum channel list to her service plan. Thankfully, she got suspicious and didn’t share any personal details.

Let’s talk about all there is to know about it and keeping you safe.

Recognizing Phishing Attacks

As mentioned earlier, scammers usually use text messages, emails, and fake websites to trick people. They will try to steal confidential info like passwords, usernames, account numbers, social security, and credit card numbers.

Scammers and hackers launch tens of thousands of phishing attacks every day. They are often successful. Victims lose millions of dollars each year because of these phishing schemes. The oldest phishing attacks date back to the 1990s and with time, they have become more sophisticated.

Scammers keep updating their phishing tactics. Take advantage of these signs to help you recognize a phishing text message or email.

Signs of Scams and Phishing Attacks

Phishing emails look plausible, real, and legit. It seems like they are from a brand or company that you trust. They can be from a bank, a social media site, a credit card company, an online shopping app or site, and so on. Phishing emails have disastrous and real consequences. Therefore, make it a habit to double-check everything before you finally decide to click a link or to share your personal info. Don’t let your guard down and look for these signs:

  • The emails or text messages will try to make you click a link or open an attachment.
  • They may notify you about a suspicious login attempt or activity.
  • They may claim that there is a problem with your payment info or account.
  • The email may ask you to re-confirm personal info.
  • Some phishing emails are reported to include fake invoices.
  • They may push you to click a link to make payments.
  • Alao,They can lure you in with free stuff and coupons.
  • They may claim your eligibility to register for a fund or refund sponsored by the government.

Most of the phishing emails and text messages work on the aforementioned formats. Some emails are designed so flawlessly that they look real to the point of no doubt. For instance, the scammers will create an official-looking email by a trusted company such as Netflix. They even manage to add the logo and claim that your account is on hold. The cause is a billing problem.  Chances are that you wouldn’t doubt such an email and will re-enter your billing info or even the credit card credentials. Once you update your billing and personal info, the scammers have achieved what they wanted.

Ways to Protect Yourself

Have you ever explored your email categories and folders? You will see a folder by the name of “spam”. This folder automatically filters many phishing emails out of your primary inbox.

But as we mentioned that scammers have made their phishing attempts refined and sophisticated, they have managed to outsmart these filters. We would suggest adding extra layers of solid protection. Take this four-step approach to save yourself from phishing attempts.

Use a Security Software

Make sure you have installed effective security software on your laptop or computer. Also, keep your security software update to deal efficiently with new threats and attacks.

Keep Your Software Updated

Phishing attacks are not only for computers. They can also reach your mobiles. Therefore, make sure you keep your mobile software updated. It will protect your mobile from scams and phishing attacks.

These updates also offer critical protection against various other security threats.

Leverage Multi-Factor Authentication

If you haven’t started using it already, start using it now. Ensure extra security for your accounts with multi-factor authentication. This system will require two or more credentials when you want to log in to your account.

The additional credentials fall into the following two categories:

  • You will get a passcode via an authentication app or a text message.
  • It will require a fingerprint scan, face recognition, or retina scan.

Leveraging multi-factor authentication will make it hard for scammers to make it to your account even if they manage to get your password and username.

Keep Your Data Backed Up

Play it safe by backing up data on your computer and phone to the cloud or an external drive. And make sure these backups are not connected to the home network. This will help you keep your confidential and personal info safe.

Take these steps and stay watchful so that the next time you encounter a phishing email asking you to click on a link to open spectrum billing, anything of that kind, you can figure out that it is a scam.

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