It can be dangerous to rely on digital platforms all the time. Although it can make our lives easier through online reservations and even remote work conditions, that doesn’t mean it’s completely free of any dangers. More people are at risk of suffering from cyberattacks since most business and official transactions are shifting to digital platforms. Private information from passport numbers to social media passwords can be at risk if you’re not vigilant in detecting data threats around you. This is why you need to understand how these cybercriminals can infiltrate your personal accounts and devices.
Understanding the threat of phishing scams
Phishing is a typical cybercrime that criminals use to trick unsuspecting victims into providing personal information, such as passwords and account numbers. These individuals can crack into a person’s online banking profiles, social media accounts, and others to rob private information or make unauthorised transactions using stolen data. This is why you need to be on the lookout for potential scammers online by knowing how they operate and figuring out how to protect yourself.
We will go over phishing’s three dangerous facts to protect yourself from potential scams online.
1. Phishing and pharming are two equally dangerous scams
Most people are familiar with phishing scams by being cautious about clicking on unreliable links. However, you can still be at risk of losing your private data through pharming. Pharming is a method of modifying the Domain Name Server (DNS) to redirect you to a fake website without your permission. By altering a link’s DNS, you’re at risk of getting infected with malware that can hack your network router or compromise your ISP’s DNS. This can all happen even without clicking on any suspicious links.
2. Phishing links go beyond your email’s inbox
Traditionally, phishing criminals spread their harmful links by replicating commercial and business emails or click-bait scams through email messaging. However, these individuals are also innovating with the times. Criminals are now hiding malware in other places besides email attachments. Mobile applications and social media posts are just as effective in injecting your device and stealing your data.
Mobile devices are more at risk of malware since they have less intensive firewall protocols and automatically update and download apps. Phishing criminals can impersonate another app’s landing page to force you to download an attachment. These rogue apps contain malware that steals your personal details as you accomplish their forms. Unfortunately, these rogue apps are much harder to detect since there are numerous storefronts beyond the official Android and iOS app stores that can host these apps.
3. Attachments aren’t the only way you can get malware
Phishers can get creative in how they can trick potential victims into downloading their malware. Besides attachments and rogue apps, they can also utilise other components of a website to hide their malware. This can be embedded in videos, ads, and graphics, prompting users to visit a phishing webpage or unintentionally download a file.
Data privacy is necessary not just for individual consumers but also for business owners. Not all phishing scammers target big-name brands since it can bring attention to their operations. This is why it’s not uncommon for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to receive attacks with their less-fortified IT infrastructures. Keep in mind that these criminals do not discriminate. If you have a weak data risk prevention plan in place, you will always be at risk of being a victim.
At FraudWatch International, we ensure our clients that they receive the best cybersecurity threat intelligence for their protection. We employ phishing prevention techniques, anti-piracy solutions, and more to protect your brand’s credibility. Contact our cyber intelligence experts, and we’ll provide the necessary safety to secure your business and customers from cybercriminals.