What is Phishing Scams & How to Avoid them

Phishing is one of the old cybercrime. The idea is masquerade as a trustworthy entity online trying to get a personal information. This technique turns out can used to scout on many people. This raises the question: how do we avoid phishing scams?

Phishing definition

Most methods of phishing use some form of technical deception designed to make a link in an e-mail (and it leads to a false website) seems to belong to the organization. It is a form of fraud that characterized with attempted to obtain sensitive information such as passwords and important profile data.

What is Phishing Scams & How to Avoid them

Phishing techniques

There are many kinds of phishing. One famous technique is through email. Most messages have an urgent note that requires users to enter credentials to update account information, change of details, and verify the account. Sometimes, they may be asked to fill out a form to access the new services through the link provided in the email.

When you click on the link, you are redirected to a fake website which is very similar to a trusted company. The next step is asking you to enter your username and password. Once that happens, the fraudster can take you to other sites or trick you to download malicious things. Here is a sample of phishing scams.

It seems we can’t easily prevent this scam

The method seems easily detected, but, in fact, a study showed a surprising result about this phishing method. Last year, there was research conduct by North Carolina State University. They asked 53 undergraduates to differentiate fake emails with the original ones. Turns out, almost all students were deceived. This indicates that the fraudster is an expert in this field.

All right then, what should we do?

  • Never open a suspicious site. Check the URL to make sure the page is actually part of the organization’s site and not a scam page on a different domain such as mybankk.com or g00gle.com. We usually tempted or even accidentally clicked a hyperlink in emails. At first we only want to check the contents of emails from people we do not know. In other cases, the sender of the email is the people closest to you, named it your father, wife, brother, and uncle. They are not trying to deceive you, but it is possible someone hacked to their accounts and uses it for their own good.

    The link can be checked by hover the pointer to the top of linked phrase. The actual address of the site would normally be seen in the gray box at the bottom-left corner of your browser.

    Make it a habit of typing the URL or address of the site you want to go directly. Avoid links from the web that you think is suspicious.
  • Check carefully URL you want to go. Make sure that the address listed in the address bar is correct.

    There is padlock icon that you can double-click to see the security information. Your browser will verify the site.

    The browser also has SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) to maintain communication between the website server and the browser secure and private.
  • If you receive a request for sensitive information, open a new browser window and go to that organization’s site by typing the address on the address bar to make sure that you’re dealing with a real organization and not a site with website phisher. There is usually a notification at this organization if they require something from you. Try to contact the organization if you still unsure.
  • Use a browser that has a phishing filter that will help you become aware of a potential phishing attack. Secure site address starts with “HTTP://” rather than “HTTP://”. There is usually a lock icon on your browser too.identify verified twitter
  • Never reply to a suspicious email. Ignore emails that request data entry such as a password or personal information. Site or a legitimate business generally will not ask for information via email.
  • Change your password periodically. It can be 1 week, 2 weeks, 1 month, or at a certain period. It aims to make your password difficult to track.
  • Watch out for the fantastic offer that seemed too easy to be true, it probably phisher.
  • The most popular way to fight phishing attacks is to keep track of sites that are considered as a phishing site.

Is there any software that can help to avoid phishing scams?

Antivirus software is the first weapon to prevent bad things. This software will protect threats while you are online. Adjust the type with your operating system. You don’t want to spend money? Don’t worry, there are several companies that provide free antivirus software, and they are legit.

The most important thing is to keep the antivirus up to date.

Besides, the anti-spam software can lower your chance from attacked. Remember all this things start from a simple message in your inbox. The next thing is anti-spyware software. The free anti-spyware software can prevent an attempt to infiltrates data in your hard drive.

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