It’s always a good rule of thumb to remain cautious when using the internet. This is because there are numerous scams out there that are meant to steal important information from you.
Of course, prevention is always the key. But the first step is to understand what possible scenarios you could get yourself into. So, it’s best to be familiar with these common phishing attacks so you’ll be more aware when you encounter one.
1. Email Phishing
Phishing websites have become more advanced over time. Now, as opposed to pretending to be a reputable company, you are more likely to get an email from them. That is why it is important to spot the difference between what you’re supposed to expect from a company and what is actually being sent to you.
The best way is to spot the most common indicators. First, you should look for the sender’s information. Be wary if the email doesn’t provide a physical address or phone number. You should also check to see if the sender is an actual representative of the company. This is to make sure it is not a scam. For instance, do they include a logo? Does it look well-designed? Is it using the company’s official font?
You should also read the actual email. Is the message ‘unfamiliar’? Does it include any strange text? Are there any misspellings? If you are not sure, then go ahead and search for the company using a search engine. You can check to see if the company has a website. You should look for the company name as well as the email address. If you discover something different, then you should not click on any links provided in the email.
2. Smishing and Vishing
Smishing refers to text messages that are sent to you that are meant to steal your information. It is best to check the number on your phone to make sure it is legit. You should also check to see if you have any contact with the company. Then, you can check the recent activities of the number before responding to the message.
On the other hand, vishing refers to a phone call that is being used to get your personal information. Always check the number to see if it is legitimate before answering the call. You should also check to see if you have any connection with the caller. Then, you can check the recent activities of the number before answering.
A common example of vishing is when someone pretending as a representative of your card company calls to tell you your account has been breached. They will then ask you to reveal sensitive information like your account details to supposedly verify your identity and fix the problem. However, they will only be using this information for malicious intent.
3. Spear Phishing
Spear phishing is a more targeted kind of phishing activity. It targets a specific group of people or businesses. This is done by doing extensive research on the victim’s background. Then, they will create emails that are tailored to their specific needs and interests.
For instance, phishers can use a company’s employee database to get information about their company’s business. They can also use information gathered from social media to determine the employee’s lifestyle. This way, they are able to create a more personal email with a more believable message.
Phishing attacks are more common than you might think. Often, they target unsuspecting businesses and users. But the important thing to remember is to be careful. Always read over an email before acting upon it. Also, double-check that the sender is legitimate. You can even use websites that are made for the purpose of detecting phishing emails.
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