An Ultimate Guide To Staying Safe From Phishing

In a world like ours, you cannot imagine the severity of the attacks our data faces each day, every day. As a business owner, you ought to have an extensive plan to stay safe from everything that puts your data to danger. But, before planning out the prevention or protection strategies, you need to understand the entire concept of potential attacks. And while there is a vast and extended list of the possible data breaches, in this article of ours, we’ll be talking about phishing attacks what all is included in phishing attacks and how it works and the ways to prevent it. We are going to discuss in detail about this vulnerable, but increasingly sophisticated form of a cyber attack.

What is that you mean by phishing attacks?

Like actual fishing, it is no fun to be at the end of the hook when it comes to phishing attacks as well. The latter is a favorite technique among hackers. This is because they don’t have to go through much of a hassle to implement these attacks. All they need are the necessary IT skills, and they are right to invade the world. Its popularity is also partly because it has profoundly affected millions of Internet users to fall victim to phishing attacks every day. You might think that with the enhancing prevalence of phishing attacks, most people would know what Phishing is. But you cannot be more wrong. There are a lot of ignorant people out there who have no idea about the concept of phishing attacks. And if you are one of those people, this article is specifically for you.

Phishing is a hacking technique that hackers use to collect sensitive data such as email addresses, passwords to personal accounts, and more. The best thing about these techniques is that they are the simplest out there. They are, in fact, so simple that there are ready-made phishing kits available on the dark web for amateur hacks.

Phishing is an easy way for criminals to steal your personal and crucial information, such as credit card numbers and account passwords. And they can gain it all even if they don’t have the skillset to hack your data and steal it. There are high chances of scammers convincing or coercing their victims into going over their information willingly.

A tad about the history of Phishing

Phishing goes way back before the Internet was created. This term is said to have been coined from the term “phreaking.” The latter was a technique used by hackers to get free airtime from their cellular service providers. It is also believed that hackers would play unique sound tones into their cellular handsets to unlock their free airtime.

These attacks emerged in the mid-’90s. Hackers would then target AOL users and get them to share their log-in details. With the advancement in technology, Phishing is just as simple as it was earlier. The only thing that has escalated is the stakes. They are much higher now as compared to then. The cybercriminals nowadays target more sensitive information such as passwords to online banking platforms and bank accounts. Attackers use this technique also to collect personal information that can be sold for profit or used to blackmail victims.

In the next segment, we are going to talk about the types of phishing attacks techniques.

Types of phishing attacks

There is something about hackers and cybercriminals that makes them want to try new ways of stealing sensitive information from unsuspecting Internet users. With the advancement in technology and with the rise of things like the Internet Of Things(IoT), smartphones, and social media, the number of opportunities for Phishing has grown considerably. Not just banking, the phishing attackers are successfully making their way to PayPal, eBay, and Amazon accounts as well. There have been a plethora of reported incidents of phishing attempts on unsuspecting customers.

Here is a list of common types of phishing attacks, you need to have a keen eye for.

  • Email Phishing

being the most popular phishing platform for hackers, email phishing provides hackers the anonymity they need to dupe their victims. This phishing technique is also easy to manipulate to impersonate an identity. This kind is also known as deceptive Phishing. Hackers tend to register emails that look and sound just like real emails of real entities. The email and the domain name are designed and registered to match the original closely. And after the process of cloning is done, the hackers use the fake domain to send out fake emails to unsuspecting victims.

This technique is used to collect data in a variety of ways. There are chances that the hackers ask for the recipient’s personal data hoping that they might fall into the trap and reply. There are also chances that the email comes embedded with malicious malware that infects the device and collects sensitive data.

The most popular yet complicated and email phishing technique involves sending fake emails with links to fake websites. To implement this scenario, the hackers are expected to create replicas of the company’s company’s email as well as its website. The email urges the recipient to click on the link and log in to avert an impending problem.

How to dodge email phishing?

If you are vigilant enough, fake emails are easy to spot if you look closely enough. You might think that the domain name and email addresses may look original at a glance, but there is something unique and different about the fake ones. You need to be cautious and keen when you receive emails from sensitive entities.

Avoiding clicking links in emails can do you good and keep you safe in the long run. If you need to log in to a website, then do so directly via the browser. You must be cautious about not responding to fake emails and sharing sensitive data with anyone.

  • Website phishing

There are a plethora of fake and malicious websites on the Internet that are purposely designed for Phishing. They are uniquely created to look like popular websites dealing with sensitive issues. These issues involve financial transactions and private communications. Hackers generally use two techniques with websites. One of the most common tactics is to trick visitors to log into their accounts. In this scenario, the website collects these log-in details and sends them to the hackers. The hackers are also skilled in infecting user’s browsers with malware and spyware programs. These programs are uniquely designed to track the user’s online activities and collect a ton of sensitive data.

How to dodge website Phishing?

Employing a decent cyber-security program or trusting a professional agency can be the best way to avoid suspicious websites. CBL Tech is one of the most reliable, efficient, and trustworthy cyber-security agency that can help you avoid such scenarios.

  • Spear phishing

This is a more strategized and targeted attempt to steal sensitive information. This type of attack typically focuses on a specific individual or organization. These types of attacks are most likely to use personal information that is particular to the individual for appearing legitimate. The cyber criminals will turn to social media and company websites in order to research their victims.

  • Telephone phishing

Even after such an immense advancement, hackers are still using phones to phish. They are not at all doing it for free airtime. The contact numbers whose caller ids are publicly listed are susceptible to spoofing. The hackers spoof the targeted numbers and use them to pry information out of unsuspecting targets.

In this type of phishing attack, a hacker may spoof numbers linked to a bank and use them to contact the bank’s clients.

How to dodge telephone phishing

if you wish to avoid becoming a victim of telephone phishing, the best way is to never share your sensitive information with anyone over the phone. You must be able to outsmart the hackers if you are to avoid getting victimized by telephone phishing.

How Can Phishing have an adverse impact on your business?

The damage from a phishing attack can be pretty devastating to a business. Over the last few years, businesses have lost a truckload of money as a result of phishing attacks. Despite investing in the most substantial security and defense technologies, there are a plethora of cybercriminals who can often exploit the weakest link in a company’s defenses. The weakest links of a company are usually its employees. A tiny human error and bam, you are gone. Massive loss of sensitive data is on the cards if you don’t pay enough attention.

Tips to spot phishing attacks

1. Poor spelling and grammar- There are very few chances of hackers having expertise in top-quality spelling and grammar. The copywriters generally proof the emails sent by companies to ensure that the spelling and the grammar are correct. If you spot any grammatical error or spelling error, the email is unlikely to have come from an official organization.

2. A mismatched URL- Checking the validity of a URL must be the first thing you must do when you get a suspicious email. If the URL does not match the address displayed, it is an indication that the message is fraudulent.

3. Unexpected correspondence- It is a no-brainer that when you get an email informing you that you have won a competition you did not enter, you are not supposed to give any heed to it.

Wrapping it up

Taking a few precautionary steps like verifying the security of a site, installing anti-virus software, being careful of what you post online, and educating staff can help you avoid the phishing scenarios. And if they don’t help, rely on professional data security services like CBL Tech.