Tech Tips Tuesday with Computek: How to Avoid Cyber ​​Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks are more widespread than ever, especially since the pandemic began. You have probably noticed an increase in spam emails in recent years. While some phishing attempts are easy to spot, others can fool just about anyone.

The first step in protecting yourself from phishing cyberattacks is to recognize what phishing is and learn the different types of phishing. The more you know, the easier it will be to keep your information safe from potential hackers.

Let’s take a look at what phishing is and how it works.

What is phishing?

Phishing can come in the form of fraudulent emails, phone calls, and websites. Hackers will try to steal your passwords, banking information, and personal details using tactics to trick you into giving them what they want. With this information, the hacker can access your finances, contact lists, and accounts connected to the attempt.

So how do you stop phishing attempts? While there’s no way to stop phishing entirely, knowing how hackers use phishing can keep you from getting hacked. Let’s look at some of the different types of phishing.

What are the different types of phishing?

Below are the top 5 ways hackers use phishing. Increasing your knowledge of these main types will help keep you and your data safe and secure.

Email phishing

Email phishing is one of the most common types of phishing. The hacker may send an email that appears to be from someone you know or a large company to trick you into trusting them. They can also intercept emails from people you trust and reply to your conversation to trick you into changing wiring information or providing routing numbers.

viking

Vishing or voice phishing is phishing through phone calls. Sometimes the hacker will pretend to be the IRS, a banking institution, or even a friend of yours to try to gain access to passwords, financial accounts, and more.

Social engineering

Social engineering is one of the most difficult types of phishing to detect. This type of hacking can take place over the course of several months of gaining your trust or impersonating someone you already know. They may use spoofed emails to impersonate your boss, your family, or trusted businesses to trick you into providing the information they want.

Website phishing

Website or domain spoofing occurs when a hacker mimics a well-known website like LinkedIn or Chase Banking and steals your login information when you enter it on the fraudulent site. Hackers sometimes pay to have their website appear first on Google, so unsuspecting parties will click on the first search result not knowing it’s a scam.

smishing

Smishing or SMS phishing is phishing through text messages. You may have received messages thanking you for your purchase and clicked the link to view your receipt or to check your recent AT&T cell phone bill. When you click on the link, the software will be downloaded to your device and you will have access to all your personal data, including the applications you use.

How to avoid falling for phishing

Phishing itself is unavoidable, but recognizing phishing attempts can prevent you from falling victim to it. The following tips can help you learn to recognize phishing, but above all, to trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.

Hover over the email address

If you get an email that seems strange or even one that doesn’t, it never hurts to use your mouse and hover over the address. A small box will appear next to your mouse and show you what the email address looks like. While the name may tell you it’s from someone you know or a company you trust, you may find that the email address is complete gibberish or just a letter or two from the friend’s or company’s actual email .

Verbally Confirm Financial Transactions

If you’re managing financial information or transactions via email, always call the person you’re working with. It may seem like a hassle, but it can save you from losing thousands of dollars to a hacker. Double-checking the email is really theirs, confirming account numbers, and making sure you have your correct email is crucial to securing email transactions.

Always go directly to the website

If you get an email that asks you to go to a website and enter your information or that there’s a problem with your account, don’t click on it. This is a common way to steal passwords and information. If it looks like it’s from your bank, call your bank. If it looks like it’s from Amazon, verify your account by typing “Amazon. com” in your web browser. Beware of all links and phone numbers in emails like this one.

Never click the first link on Google

As mentioned above, hackers will pay to be the first link on Google. If you’re searching for “how to renew my driver’s license online,” you could end up on a fake government website and give your credit card information directly to a hacker. Always stay away from links on Google that say “ad” next to them because that means they paid to be there and could be fraudulent.

Look for spelling and grammatical errors

If you receive an email that appears to be from a trusted friend or business, but is misread or has spelling and grammatical errors, that’s a big red flag. Contact the person or company the email is supposed to be from via a phone call, but remember, never use the phone number in the email. If you are a hacker, you may be calling a scam line.

Don’t click on external links

As always, don’t click on external links within an email, social media message, or text unless you’re sure it’s safe. External links can download viruses, install spyware and ransomware, as well as give hackers access to all your accounts, camera and microphone. Be very careful with external links because clicking on a phishing link can turn your life upside down.

The bottom line

When it comes to phishing, there are many ways to avoid being scammed. Trusting your instincts and following the tips above can keep your personal data safe and save you the hassle of dealing with a hacker. For businesses, investing in high-quality cybersecurity, employee training, and protection software can help keep your data (and customer data) safe and secure. For more information on how to protect your company’s digital assets, contact your local managed IT company.

Until next time, stay safe out there!

Click or tap the link to return to the home page.

Leave a Comment