What Is Phishing?
Phishing is a form of malicious social engineering to obtain digital security information from an innocent individual. The goal is usually passwords or credit card information. The process is to trick the individual into providing the information by falsifying genuine commercial communication, usually by email). The email somehow convinced the person that it is necessary to enter their security data that, if they are effectively tricked, they will go to a site controlled by the malicious actor who can then use the credentials and (in particular) steal money.
Such attacks have developed over time and have generated a whole family of attack types, e.g. spearfishing, where an individual is targeted in a more specific way, e.g. If you recently visited a website, the email will include this information and it is more likely that the individual believes that it is genuine (thinking that only the genuine company would know that I just visited their website (!!!)).
How To Stay Safe From Phishing Attacks?
Staying safe from phishing attacks does not require much effort, but just keeping your device updated in all aspects, such as antivirus, operating system, and also installing OEM software or only from reliable sources and also, being aware of where and where not click. By simply clicking anywhere in the untrusted web application or in the links or advertisements sent to your mailbox, you may be a victim of phishing. However, there are many fake websites that attract people to agree to click on malicious links or ads. Because, sometimes, these links can help attackers hijack your system remotely. Second, do not reveal any confidential or personal information through any means of communication, such as a phone call, an email, an SMS, etc. Phishers sometimes try to pretend they are from reliable companies and organizations, but in reality, they are not. However, they make people believe them as they are and then treat victims to reveal confidential information, such as national identity information, bank details or credit card information, etc. Being alone alert in the physical world is not enough these days, but also in the virtual world.
How does a phishing email attack?
A phishing email arrives in your mailbox just like any other genuine email from your business colleagues, banks, etc. These emails are masked as a message from a reliable source, but in reality, they are linked with malware. The attackers use various themes to catch their target through a phishing email. Here are some examples:
- Emails requesting dates online
- Emails requesting to accept a lucrative commercial proposal
- Emails that offer lucrative and extraordinary job offers
- Online users should take safety precautions to stay safe from phishing scams. Some pointers are:
- Never share your personal information such as an address, contact number, PIN number, credit/debit card numbers, etc.
- Keep all your devices protected with a password lock so that only authorized users can access it
- Make sure your passwords are unique for different accounts.
- Don’t make friends on social media with strangers.
- Protect your devices with an advanced antivirus to ensure security against rootkits, malware, etc.