Phishing attacks are one of the most common forms of cybercrime in the world. These attacks use social engineering to trick people into giving up personal information, but they can also be used to steal from your bank accounts or credit cards. Since it’s so easy to fall victim to phishing, it’s crucial that you know how to prevent these types of attacks.
What is phishing
Phishing definition: Phishing is a type of fraud where a person or group attempts to steal your personal information by pretending to be a trustworthy company in an email, text message, website, or phone call. The goal is to get you to give up your personal things like your credit card numbers, passwords, and Social Security number so they can use them themselves.
Phishing attacks use spam or junk email messages that appear to come from banks and other financial institutions like PayPal or eBay. They might also come from legitimate companies like Apple iTunes saying there’s a problem with your account or Facebook asking for new login credentials because someone may have stolen them.
Preventing phishing attacks
- Don’t click on links in emails. If you get an email that you think is suspicious, don’t click any links in the email and delete it immediately.
- Don’t download attachments from suspicious emails. These attachments could contain malicious software that can harm your computer or give hackers access to personal information on your device.
- Don’t open emails from people you don’t know well or at all. Phishing scams typically use fake addresses with names like “Google” or “Microsoft.” It’s unlikely these companies will send out unsolicited messages asking for personal information; so if one does make its way into your inbox, it’s probably bad news!
- According to experts like Connectwise,”Strong spam and email filtering tools can help block many phishing emails.”
How to avoid getting phished
If you get a suspicious email, don’t click on any links in it. Don’t open attachments either. If you receive an email that looks like it is from your bank or another company that you do business with and they ask for personal information, call them directly to verify the request before giving out this information. Even if the email seems legitimate, it may be phishing for personal data by tricking you into thinking that it is authentic.
When on public computers, use caution when logging into sensitive accounts such as online banking or social media—don’t enter your password unless necessary! Public Wi-Fi networks are notorious for being untrustworthy—if there’s any way around using one (like tethering from your smartphone), do so!
Public phones should also be avoided when possible since these can be used by hackers to gain access to sensitive information such as passwords by recording keystrokes and turning them over later.
What to do if you think you’ve been phished
- Contact your bank or credit card company immediately. You may be able to stop the charges right away, and you can also put a fraud alert on your account.
- Contact the company that you think you’ve been phished from. If they’ve been hacked and have no idea, they’ll need to take measures to avoid further damage in the future.
- Lastly, contact the police if this is an ongoing issue or if it involves identity theft of any kind
Phishing is a very common type of cybercrime that has been around for decades. Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent yourself from getting phished and many other things you can do if you think you’ve already been phished.