The most common question now many have people have in their minds is How to protect yourself against Phishing?
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How do I protect myself from Phishing Attacks?
This is because of phishing attacks, credit card phishing, email fraud, online scams, identity theft online, etc.
What are they?
These firstly are criminal activities, and they are categorized under cybercrime. They happen over the internet, and so are categorized under cybercrimes.
What happens is that critical details of people are stolen and used to make some financial transactions or with the simple motive to steal money from the victim’s account.
Does that mean the Internet is a crooked workshop?
Certainly “Not”! The Internet is certainly not crooks’ workshop, but as they say, “ all good things come in a package”. The same applies to the internet too.
It was created with the intention to help people like you and me. But the flip side is hackers also have access to the same and they deploy the resources at hand for their sinister activities.
You need to apply commonsense and your discretion while choosing to reply to an mail. That could be a potential phishing attack.
Make sure your computer is loaded with an anti-phishing solution that is of corporate-grade, and the same is regularly updated.
You need to ensure that the windows desktop protection is activated.
If you see an mail that asks for details from you without thinking any further, just get rid of it and contact your bank or the place from where the mail claims to have come.
At times, these phishing attacks are done by software programmers and they have a more sophisticated way of doing things.
What they do is they create viruses like Trojan horses and etc. which comes into you through an innocent-looking mail; having .exe files activated by the click event and once you click on that it comes to your hard drive and starts spreading.
Now the job of this would be to scrape data from your computer and send them to its creator. You would never even get to know how it all happened.
Thus, it is a good idea to format your hard drive from time to time and in case you cannot do that try using anti-virus software or an anti-phishing solution.
It is not a very good idea to rely on the freely available antivirus software or the anti-phishing solutions as they are not fully functional as many of the capabilities are blocked in those. So, buy fully functional software from the market.
If you follow the above mentioned, chances are that you would stay safe from the phishing attacks, credit card phishing, email fraud, online scams, identity theft online, etc. Good luck!
Examples of phishing:
Phishing is a way of stealing an individual’s personal information and use that information to steal money from their account. Nowadays, there is an alarming rise in the number of fraudulent activities.
Though many activities are carried out against it, phishing remains a major fraudulent activity as the criminals are also becoming equally clever.
Though there are many anti-phishing groups, laws and many technological developments which tell us about the different phishing techniques, there is a need to create widespread awareness about the phishing techniques and how to prevent it.
Credit card phishing
When we think about some of the examples of phishing, the first one that comes into our mind is the credit card phishing. Many of the emails associated with credit card phishing contain insecure things and they also ask for certain information from the person to whom the mail is addressed, like their credit card number or account number.
The customers think this as an original message and give their credit card number which is used by the frauds to steal money. Later the customer finds out what has happened. Now he cannot claim anything from anyone because he does not know who has done this crime.
Another kind of phishing activity is where the frauds betray the customers using the name of the banks or any other financial institution.
There are some emails that are received from foreign countries, maybe the US or UK, indicating that a person has won some prize and his/her personal information is needed for sending the prize.
It is a kind of phishing used to grab their information and later grab money from their accounts. People should never believe such things and fall prey to them.
Sometimes, there will be some subject on the internet telling that there is some urgent message from their accounts and if it is not answered their account will be deactivated.
Most people will fall for such a message and end up revealing their personal information.
Another example of phishing is done through the phone which is called phone phishing. Here the people are called and asked for some personal information for security purposes.
When they answer this, the users fall as the victim to the fraud since the same information can be used against them.
Thus, it is important to be careful in all the stages of life if one does not want to be victimized by such phishing activities.
Methods of Phishing:
A kind of internet treachery is known as phishing. It lures internet users to give away personal and financial information to the hacking websites.
These websites imitate the trustworthy and familiar websites of the user and generally send spam emails and pop messages to extract information.
The financial information extracted could be used to withdraw money from the bank account of the user in unauthorized transactions.
Even Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) using strong cryptography could not restrict these hackers from sending such messages. These hackers make a mockery of the internet security systems.
The first recorded phishing happened in 1996 though it had been defined much earlier way back in 1987. The term is in line with fishing denoting a catch.
The methods adopted for phishing are as follows:
Links are sent in emails or pop-ups which would take the users to the fraudulent websites. These links are usually misspelled to deceive the users.
Apart from these, there is the IDN (International Domain Name) attack or spoofing or homograph attack. Filter evasion is used to send images instead of texts and the anti-phishing filters are not able to detect it.
The flash-based websites can avoid anti-phishing methods hiding the texts to a multimedia object.
Phone phishing is a method of phishing where the operator fakes a call from a bank or other original agency and extracts valuable information from the user.
Though the internet security systems are developed with a view to avoiding these phishing methods and new developments are also regularly updated. These hacker’s still devising new methods with the changing codes to continue their treachery.
What exactly is Phishing:
As technology advances, it takes criminal technology too along with it. In the modern days of computers, people try to find out an easy solution to all the problems they have using computers and so they have passwords, usernames, etc.
The simplest definition of phishing could be that any activity which is done to steal these personal and confidential details is called Phishing.
How Does Phishing start?
When somebody sends a fake email (now commonly referred to as phishing email), and in that email, the sender requests the email to be filled up with highly sensitive data, like passwords or SSN, etc. or the mail might contain a link to some other site.
Such cases may lead to phishing activity. Millions of dollars are lost by people every year because of these Phishing email activities or the so-called phishing attacks.
Normally these phishing emails are under the cover of a bank or a security agency etc., and the intimate of the re-engineering of the portals being done and thus the sensitive data of the customer is required.
A lot of people fall easy prey to these emails and send in the requested data, with a desire to stay secured. But in the end, when they discover that they have lost a lot of money, from their bank accounts or credit cards, etc., by then it is already too late, and they just cannot do anything about it.
It is important that people who are regular users of the internet and its related benefits should stay vigilant about phishing.
They need to check the mails carefully and in case of a doubt, they should just delete the mail which they suspect to be a phishing attack at the first instance. Also, they should report the same to the authorities. This at times would be a painful activity.
But if you are asked to fill up a form on the net where your credit card details are required then you can be sure, it’s a Phishing mail. I hope that has given you a fair bit of idea about what is Phishing and what could be the consequences if Phishing is not taken seriously.
Just hook on to the net and there you would get at least a million stories of how people got ripped off because of these Phishing mails.
Thankfully, people are now getting more aware of these Phishing mails and they do use discretion while choosing to answer emails. This is a good start to say. And the keyword here is staying alert and that is all that would be able to help you against Phishing.