Phishing has been a major problem on the internet right since its widespread availability. You all remember the Nigerian prince scam, which numerous people fell for. These days, phishing has evolved beyond these scams, with malicious parties using increasingly insidious techniques. Their goal is to get your personal and/or financial information for nefarious purposes. Therefore, you must do everything in your power to avoid these scams. Otherwise, your information will be at high risk.
The good news is that basic caution and common sense does a lot to prevent being a phishing victim. However, as scammers are now savvier, you need to be even more vigilant. Look carefully at suspicious emails with enticing deals such as unrealistically cheap Spectrum offers. In addition, be sure to have an anti-virus on your system to detect any malware. Fortunately, Google also flags suspicious links and websites, so you have all the tools you need to prevent being scammed at your disposal.
Be on High Alert With Unfamiliar Emails
Phishers often entice their targets with exciting email offers. You must keep an eye out for unfamiliar sources. Smart scammers will have some of your easily available personal information and send you a personalized email from a seemingly familiar source.
However, once you look at the email address, the content, and the suspicious offers in the email, you should immediately report it. In addition, if the email is pretending to be from a service you actually use, be sure you let them know their name is being misused. This will help the company be vigilant as well and prevent others from falling for the trap.
Avoid Clicking on Shortened Links
Shortened URLs are one of the most common signs of a phishing attempt. This is especially true for social media, where scammers use URL shortening services to make malicious links look legitimate. These links take you to the wrong website, where your information and cybersecurity will be at risk.
Therefore, you must hover over any shortened URLs to see where exactly they’re leading before clicking on them. Make sure the link is the same as the source in the email text, and even then, remain on your guard. Simply put, do not click on shortened links without knowing where they lead.
Beware of Scare Tactics
In many cases, phishing attempts involve scaring their vulnerable targets. You might get an email which says you urgently need to enter your information to prevent losing access to your savings account. Do not fall for the trap, and if you still feel uneasy, contact your bank directly via other reliable methods.
The same goes for any really exciting deals you might come across with very short deadlines. No discount is worth the hassle of compromised personal information and malware. So, if you receive any messages which come across as extremely urgent, take the time to verify their legitimacy before taking any action or even opening them.
Browse Securely on HTTPS URLs
Always make sure that you are browsing and entering data on secure websites. To confirm this, check in the browser bar whether there is a closed padlock icon next to the URL. In addition, the link should start with https instead of http. Most legitimate websites are https links, so if you receive any links starting with http, be wary of them.
In addition, when shopping online, only go for popular, reliable websites. Phishers often use the names of major retailers on social media to pull you in, but once you look at the URL, it’ll be something different.
Avoid Using Public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi is the perfect platform for successful phishing attacks. Therefore, avoid using any public Wi-Fi connections. Instead, switch over to your 4G or network services. Even if you have to absolutely use public Wi-Fi services, do not enter any personal or financial information on any website.
Otherwise, it will be very easy for scammers to get all the data they need to misuse your information or put malware in your device.
In conclusion, phishing is a major problem in the internet era. However, with the right measures and precaution, you can easily avoid falling victim to it. You just have to be vigilant and make the habit of verifying information before taking action.
Also Read : Important Facts to Know About Phishing Attacks