Learn What Phishing Is, Its Types & How To Avoid Phishing Attacks
Know what is phishing and its threat in the digital world.
How could phishing be defined? It is a deceitful attack by malicious sources to get your confidential information through various mediums such as emails. It is essential to know what phishing is about as it is a severe threat in the fast-paced digital world of today.
Attackers generally do phishing by impersonating the organizations or individuals you know well, and they would usually ask for details like password, credit card number, and other personal information. While using emails, you should be careful about such threats. Professional hackers prepare spam emails to extract information from other people.
We’ve discussed below in detail about what is phishing is and different ways to avoid it.
What Should You Learn About Phishing?
If you are careless with a phishing attempt, it will result in a significant loss for you. When people try to phish your emails, most of the time, they will take you to a site by making you click a link where your personal details are needed. There are many ways a phishing email can reach you. Some of the examples are
- You should be alert when you are asked your personal information via an email, as there are high chances that it is a phishing email.
- If it is a generic greeting that is easier to be sent to many in bulk, then you should be cautious. It could be safer if it addresses you by your full name and distinct credentials. Even if it does, you should remain vigilant.
- Another example is forged links that resemble the URLs of genuine organizations. Make sure the URL is authentic before clicking it. Also, provide your personal details only to websites that start with ‘https’ as it is a sign of a secure site.
- At times, the attackers would create a feeling of urgency by telling you that some terrible loss would happen if you don’t provide the necessary information immediately. Never give out any details to these sites as they are adversaries who are trying to take advantage of your innocence.
The Standard Forms Of Phishing Attempts
One must be aware that there are various forms of phishing rampant around you. One should have a decent idea about them to protect them entirely from phishing.
One of the forms of phishing is Smishing, where the sender would send an SMS to the recipient and try to lure the user into providing his details by offering some fake deals & offers or create a sense of urgency by sending messages such as “Your bank account is compromised. Share your password to get your access back.”
The next one is Vishing in which the phishers would speak to you over the phone, pretending to be a relative of yours, and confidently ask for your details. Be careful of such phone calls.
Search Engine Phishing
Another common type of phishing is called Search Engine Phishing. Here, phishers focus on some specific keywords and fabricate a webpage where you would be caught in while you search for the information you need. Hence, one needs to be cautious while looking for a webpage.
A major form of phishing attack is Spear Phishing. Spear phishing attacks are riskier as the phishers study and research as much as they can about a particular organization and then target one specific user or even the organization.
Similar to spear phishing, there is another form known as Whaling. In this, the attackers would be more attentive in searching for information about the people who are positioned high in an organization such as CFO, COO, and CEO. The reason for the attackers to target them is that the people who have a higher authority would have more sensitive information about the organization.
The phishing attackers would mainly target sectors like banking, technology, and healthcare because they are large scale business organizations where they would have many users with more data. By these phishing attacks, one could be incurring substantial financial losses as well as compromising one’s confidential information.
Steps To Prevent Phishing Attacks
Thus, we understand that there are numerous ways of phishing. So, what could one do to deter the threat of such phishing attacks? Here are specific means by which you can protect yourself from it.
- First of all, the organization must have employees that are undergone awareness training program and cautious about such phishing threats. The organizations should arrange regular sessions to train employees sufficiently to identify and combat this rapidly growing threat.
- Spam filters must be set up to avoid phishing emails to enter your inbox.
- A web filter must be used so that it can filter all the unwanted web pages.
- The organization must have an excellent overall security policy in place and must maintain it in high standards and keep it updated at all times.
On the one hand, while we advance with high technologies, threats such as phishing, on the other hand, are also on the rise to the same degree. However, as mentioned above, taking adequate measures and being alert about such threats will help you keep yours as well as your organization’s information from falling into the wrong hands.
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