Beware of Phishing - Phishing is an attempt by an online fraudster to trap you to disclose your personal information by the name of a legitimate company or brand through fake emails. Let me remind you that everyone knows the word "fishing" so here you can say a fraudster is fishing to get your personal information including the bank details or other security credentials. The moment they trick you by phishing, they use your credit cards, drain your bank accounts or change your passwords. For the phishing, they attempt such a convincing trick to built a genuine scenario and you will feel that you are on a legitimate website.
The phishing emails look like same as that of from a genuine legitimate website. So you need to know phishing and be aware of such phishing emails. It is so easy for fraudsters to develop a website which looks legitimate in nature with the logos like on the trusted website. Sometimes it may be a genuine website so it is always useful to type the URL in the search bar to ensure you are signing into the legitimate & official website. The phishing attacks are widely spread these days. The study shows more than 160% of growth in phishing attacks from 2012 to 2019 & it is raised to 420% in 2016 alone. It is because more than 96% of users are unable to identify the phishing emails. Though the security organizations try to block such malicious emails using firewall before they reach the users with the help of DMARC standards, but some phishing emails succeed to breach it and reach the customers.
Millions of users have suffered by these phishing attacks over the last 10 years & no doubt it will keep happening again & again. Therefore it is always better to be on the safest side by checking it & staying away from such suspicious emails. So here are some tips that will help you to spot the difference between a legitimate & phishing website. Learn more about EMAIL PHISHING PREVENTION and follow simple ways to prevent phishing attacks.
If you missed out, recently an article published on PBB: Major 15 Ways, How To Secure Gmail Account From Hackers | Google Security Tips. After that, many users were asking about the techniques to identify the phishing in emails and how to prevent, stop and avoid such phishing attacks. Today we are going to check the ways to fight against phishers and their activities.
12 Steps To Avoid Phishing AttacksMany online users facing this phishing scams, they are looking for how can you identify a phishing email? how to prevent phishing on your website? how to stop phishing emails in Gmail/Outlook/HotMail? To answer these questions and to protect against phishing, today, I have listed quick but smart ways to prevent from being hooked.
Check out phishing prevention best practices to fight against phishing attacks from user ends:
1. Check the URL format.When you receive a link through email or any other media, make sure to check & study that link/URL first. They tend to copy the legitimate websites URL by adding extra words to the URL of the official domain.
Even if you click on the website accidentally or you can mouse hover on it, then you can easily check & analyze the URL. They add some extra meaningless letters or words in the address bar like .co.in or .official. Here you need to check the source of the link too.
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2. Spelling mistakesThis very common but most important point to identify the phishing website. Everyone has the tendency that they don't look at the spelling of any legitimate websites properly. That gives a chance for phishers to trick.
Sometimes there are some silly (but custom) mistakes made by phishers e.g "Dear costumer" in place of "Dear customer". Or sometimes it could be like "official.bank0finda.co.in" "amazom.com". So at first look people don't notice that & get hunted by phishing emails or websites.
3. Keep Personal Information Secure.This is like a tricky scenario. The most important thing you need to remember first that, the legitimate companies or officials will never ask your personal details through emails, SMS, chat in case of checking your account, as they already have it; they won't ask you again.
So if an email asks you for personal info, don't give any personal information; it is nothing but phishing.
Check out; 10 Ways How To Secure Facebook Account From Hackers | Security Tips
4. Ignore threatening language.The threatening phrases like "your account has been suspended" or the message like "somebody tried to view your account quick attention required" these are the example of an attempt to make you react quickly.
They create a scene of urgency to let you provide them your detailed personal information. Fraudster tries to trick you into clicking the link and asks for urgent action through threatening language. There may be a reality though, but still, don't click on the link in the email. Instead, login into the official account through the legitimate website to know your account status.
5. Avoid clicking on attachments.It is quite unexpected and objectionable to receive an email with an attachment from a legitimate company without your request. So if you receive a suspicious email, don't download it as it may contain viruses & malware which can destroy your files on the computer or hack your saved passwords from the browser. This is very the most common phishing trick.
6. Check salutation (Etiquettes).A salutation of a legitimate organization includes your first and last name e.g "Dear John Butler" while the phishing emails start with generic salutations e.g "Dear Customer", "Dear viewer". These are the suspicious salutations that the fraudsters use as they may know your email address but very rarely know your full name.
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7. Check web address.Fraudsters often use legitimate company names in their email address which looks so identical but not the same as the company's valid email address like firstname.lastname@example.org where the legitimate email address is email@example.com. This is a most likely phishing trick. They spoof the display name or official email ID. So don't trust the display name, carefully look at the sender's email address.
8. Use mouse hover over but don't click.When you receive an email that contains the legitimate organization name, just hover the mouse over the link (don't click). If it looks odd or unusual then remember it is a phishing trick & doesn't click it. This can be tested by typing the web address directly in the new window.
Sometimes after hovering the mouse over the link, you may notice a small pop-up window showing different URL from displayed URL & doesn't have the organization name.
9. Give fake password.If you are in two minds whether the website is legitimate or fake, you can use a fake password instead of using your real password. If you get signed in even after entering a fake password then without any doubt it is the phishing attempt. But the important thing to mention here is some sites show an error message irrespective of the password but that doesn't mean it is a legitimate website. So if you find any suspicious, don't disclose your any information, just stay away from this.
In case you required to know; 6 Ways To Protect An eCommerce Website [Online Store] Against Hacks & Frauds
10. Lack of contact details.When a legitimate organization sends an email, they include contact details whereas the thing is different from the phishing emails. They don't provide you with their contact or they give you no clue how you can contact them.
11. And you have won a prize.A very common phishing trick is to send an email showing that you have won a prize ( with a certain amount) or a holiday package saying "You are a lucky customer". In response to this, they ask you to click the link & enter your whole information. Even sometimes they ask you to deposit some advance amount in their account to get your prize. But the thing is if you haven't participated in any contest then how can you win the prize? Ignore those emails, in case if you want to know then check the sender info or the site they talking about, search it on the Google, from the search results go to the official site and check yourself; but don't click on any link.
For more but fundamental information check out; Top 3 Challenges for Staying Safe Online While You Surfing The Internet | Beginners Guide
12. Calling in name of donation.The phisher often sends an email containing the subject "donate for relief" after any natural or another disaster. They find the potential persons to ask for the donation for a social cause. This may be a trick to hack your password. It is always preferable to donate to charity by directly visiting them if you want to.
The things that look legitimate may not be true. So there is no point in believing whatever your eyes feel legitimate only because an email contains an identical email address, brand logos or any other identical things. So try to stay away from it as much as you can.
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