How to Identify and Prevent Phishing Attacks

How to Identify and Prevent Phishing Attacks


What is Phishing?

Phishing is a cybercrime in which hackers target individuals or companies via different contact methods. They pose as a legitimate source to entice individuals into compromising their personal information such as personal address, bank/credit card details and passwords. With the personal information gained this can then be used by the cyber criminals for identity theft, fraud and financial gain, all at the individual or companies’ loss.

The 4 most common types of Phishing?

  • Email Phishing – hackers will copy the exact email format from a legitimate company and include a malicious link, document, or image file that can trick the user into “confirming” their personal information.
  • Spear Phishing – is a targeted attack and won’t generally come from a well-known company. Instead, they impersonate a colleague or director within the company you work for.
  • Phone Phishing – this is when the hacker calls directly and poses as a company or bank the individual uses, the caller will create a sense of urgency and prevent the recipient from thinking clearly.
  • Smishing – contacting via text messages; a common text from hackers would be of them impersonating your bank and alerting you to suspicious activity and a link to click or telephone number to call.

How to protect yourself or your company against phishing

There are several different factors to consider when wanting to protect against phishing.

  1. Training employees on what to be aware of before they open an email or attachment.
  2. Keeping your security renewed.
  3. Two Factor Authentication (TFA).
  4. Never click on links within in an email or a pop up.
  5. Do not give any personal or bank information via the telephone or online.

Keeping safe

Phishing attacks are taking place every day.  If you check your emails, you will no doubt, find an email within the last week that doesn’t look quite right. If someone came up to you on the street and said they had a package for you, you would say “no thank you” and walk away. When people get emails that say, a well-known courier company has a package for you they are curious and think they should click the link or open the attachment.  A rule of thumb is to take the same precautions online as you would in the real world.

Date: November 7, 2022

Author: Morris

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