Phishing is a type of cyber attack wherein communication is sent to gain personal information from an employee or company. It is often disguised as an official email or text message from a legitimate source. While it is more commonly done through email, it is also done through phone (known as vishing) and text messaging (known as smishing).
Phishing aims to obtain confidential information from the company, ask someone to pay them money or infect one’s computer with malware. Since it’s quite common, most people should become more familiar with what phishing is, its dangers and how to prevent it. In this article, we have compiled some information about phishing and how to stop it.
Spear Phishing versus Whale Phishing
Spear phishing and whale phishing are two specific types of phishing attacks. Unlike random and mass emails, spear phishing is a type of phishing that specifically targets one individual. The attacker often disguises themselves as someone known by this individual and acts just like them.
Whale phishing is just the same as spear phishing. However, whale phishing is the term used when higher profile individuals, like celebrities and politicians, are the ones being targeted.
How Can You Identify Phishing?
The first way to stop a cyberattack through phishing is to be able to identify it. While phishing emails and websites closely resemble those emails from reputable sources and legitimate websites, there are some differences. You must be truly observant and know what to look for to identify them.
The following are only some of the signs of phishing websites and emails:
- Incorrect company name
- Lookalike domains with small differences
- Spelling errors
- Occasional pop-ups
- Request for personal and confidential information
- Emails begin with generic greetings (ma’am/sir, customer, etc.)
- The email is structured and formatted oddly
If any of the above is seen in the website or email sent to you, try to steer away from it. If it does seem necessary or you are unsure, try to confirm with the person who sent it to you, personally.
How Can You Prevent Phishing?
- Cyber Intelligence
The first step to preventing phishing is through cyber intelligence. This can only be done by educating employees through various methods. It is important that one learns about phishing and other cyberattacks to be more aware of them and identify them.
- Email Security
Aside from cyber education and intelligence, email security is also important. If your emails are constantly being filled with phishing attacks, then there must be something wrong with the security. If you have your own IT security team, you must check with them, or you can consult with digital brand protection companies like FraudWatch.
- Security Layers
Try to constantly keep your security layers, such as firewalls, strong and maximised by updating them. Have a scheduled time wherein all passwords and security layers are updated, such as every 60 days or whatnot.
Lastly, if a phishing email or other cyberattack is received, report it immediately. Try to capture what the phishing email or website looks like and file a report with the company. This makes sure others can be warned about phishing attacks.
Phishing can be dangerous if it is not handled correctly. It can potentially harm an individual or an entire company. By being educated about phishing and how to identify it, attacks can be prevented or addressed properly.
To ensure your online protection, working with a company like FraudWatch is ideal. FraudWatch is a digital brand protection company shielding brands from malware, phishing and other cyberattacks. Be smart online; work with FraudWatch. Contact us today to get started!