What Are Phishing Scams And 10 Tips To Avoid Them

Cyber criminals are using different mode of attacks to get your personal data, Phishing Scams are one of them.

What is Phishing?

Phishing Scams are typically fraudulent email messages appearing to come from legitimate enterprises (e.g., your university, your Internet service provider, your bank,your online social account). These messages usually direct you to a spoofed website or otherwise get you to divulge private information (e.g., password, credit card, or other account updates). The perpetrators then use this private information to commit identity theft.

Phishing Scams are usually done through email messages, websites, and phone calls are designed to steal money. Cyber criminals can do this by installing malicious software on your computer or stealing personal information off of your computer.

Cyber criminals also use social engineering to convince you to install malicious software or hand over your personal information under false pretenses. They might email you, call you on the phone, or convince you to download something off of a website.

How To Find Phishing Email?

Here is an example of what a phishing scam through an email message might look like.

phishing scams email_example

Spelling and bad grammarCyber criminals are not known for their grammar and spelling. Professional companies or organizations usually have a staff of copy editors that will not allow a mass email like this to go out to its users. If you notice mistakes in an email, it might be a scam.

Beware of links in email: If you see a link in a suspicious email message, don’t click on it. Rest your mouse (but don’t click) on the link to see if the address matches the link that was typed in the message. In the example below the link reveals the real web address, as shown in the box with the yellow background. The string of cryptic numbers looks nothing like the company’s web address. Links might also lead you to download some files. These kinds of file are known to spread malicious software.

phishing scams links

Threats: Have you ever received a threat that your account would be closed if you didn’t respond to an email message? The email message shown above is an example of the same trick. Cyber criminals often use threats that your security has been compromised.

• Spoofing popular websites or companies: Scam artists use graphics in email that appear to be connected to legitimate websites but actually take you to phoney scam sites or legitimate-looking pop-up windows. Cybercriminals also use web addresses that resemble the names of well-known companies but are slightly altered.

Beware Of Phishing Phone Calls Too

Cyber criminals might call you on the phone and offer to help solve your computer problems or sell you a software license. So don’t fall in these types of unsolicited phone calls (also known as cold calls) to charge you for computer security or software fixes. Once they’ve gained your trust, cyber criminals might ask for your user name and password or ask you to go to a website to install software that will let them access your computer to fix it. Once you do this, your computer and your personal information is vulnerable.Treat all unsolicited phone calls with skepticism. Do not provide any personal information.

10 Tips To Avoid Phishing Scams:

Here is some tips to avoid Phishing Scams keeps you from taking the bait and becoming a victim.

1. Take an Active Role

Internet links, phone calls and emails sometimes harbor ill intent. Many phishing schemers attempt to trick you in to giving up personal information like bank account and Social Security numbers. It is important to be extra cautious when information is requested through one of these avenues. For example, if you receive a phone call from someone claiming to work for your bank, hang up the phone and call the number on the back of your debit card.

2. Install Antivirus Software

The best antivirus software programs, such as Bitdefender and Kaspersky, have antiphishing functionality that protects your identity. Install the software on all of your devices, and keep it up to date.

3. Avoid Popups

Many phishing scams involve pop-up screens that ask for information like passwords and zip codes. To prevent identity theft, avoid entering personal data in those popups.

4. Filter Your Emails

Phishing scams might involve email messages that mimic those from legitimate or trusted sources. To protect yourself, look for tell-tale signs of phishing emails, including domains that don’t match the supposed source and suspicious threats that attempt to scare you in to taking a specific action.

5. Match Receipts to Statements

Keep the receipts for every purchase you make both on and offline. Then, compare them to your bank and credit card statements when they arrive every month. If you find suspicious charges, report them to your financial institution immediately.

6. Keep Personal Data Out of Correspondence

Don’t send your bank account, Social Security number or credit card information via email. If a scam artist hacks your email account, he or she enjoys unrestricted access to every email you have sent. Additionally, consider changing your email password on a regular basis and using unique passwords for every account.

7. Enter Fake Passwords

To test the legitimacy of a website, enter your username and a fake password first. If the site doesn’t flag the password as incorrect, you know you’ve landed on a fraudulent site, and the creators want to capture real passwords. Only take this step once, as some organizations lock accounts after too many failed log in attempts.

8. Practice a Friends-Only Policy

When you receive links, attachments or other media, avoid accessing them unless you recognize the sender. Since email accounts sometimes fall victim to hackers, you might ask the sender about the legitimacy of a suspicious email before you click on links or download attached files.

9. Update Your Browser

Internet browsers depend on regular updates to guard against the latest known threats. When your browser prompts you to update, don’t put it off, as this reduces internet surfing security.

10. Conduct Some Research

When an unfamiliar number shows up on your phone, run a quick Google search to determine its origin. If someone else has received a similar phone call, they might have posted about it online. The same goes for searching based on the text of a fishy email.

Where To Report Phishing Scams:

You can report a phishing scam attempt to the company that is being spoofed.

You can also send reports to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

 Depending on where you live, some local authorities also accept phishing scam reports.

 Finally, you can send details to the Anti-Phishing Working Group, which is building a database of common scams to which people can refer.

Hopes this article help you to know about Phishing scams, mode of attack, tips to avoid them and where to report them. Share it and help others to protect their personal data.

If you know any other tip to avoid Phishing Scam comment below. And stay safe.

Subith Kumar is an online gaming and futuristic tech editor with a decade of experience. He holds a B.A. in Computer Science and is known for his deep insights into virtual reality and AI in gaming. When offline, he's a drone racing enthusiast and a creative photographer.



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