What Are Phishing Attacks and How to Avoid Them?
October 18, 2023

Phishing is a social engineering attack used to steal user information, such as credit card details, credentials, or login details. Such attacks happen when an attacker, pretending to be a trusted entity, sends messages to a victim while pretending to be a trusted person or organization. 

The victim is tricked into clicking on an embedded link or an attachment which then gives attackers access to sensitive information. Phishing attacks can be dangerous for individuals as well as organizations. The results of a phishing attack on an individual can include unauthorized purchases and financial and identity theft.

Types of Phishing Attacks 

Attackers orchestrate phishing attacks in two ways, Spam phishing and Targeted phishing. The first step in recognizing a phishing attack is knowing what to expect from phishers. It can occur through several mediums, from phone calls to emails, texts, and even hijacked URLs on the internet.

1. Phishing email: This appears in your mail inbox, frequently requesting you to click on a link, reply with private info, send a payment, or open an attachment. The sender’s email may be tailored to resemble a valid one and may contain information that is personal to the receiver.

2. Domain spoofing is a common way an email phisher might copy valid email addresses. These scams take an existing company’s domain, e.g. (ex: @america.com), and modify it. You might engage with an address like “@livingstonehealth .com” as a member of “Livingstone Healthcare insurance” and be vulnerable to this scam.

3. Voice phishing: Scammers call your phone number and impersonate a real person, organization, or company to deceive you. They might contact you from an automated message and mask their phone number. Phishers who use this medium try to keep you on the phone and urge you to act or divulge personal information that can harm you.

4. Clone phishing: Phishers replicate an authentic message previously sent by a legitimate entity, with real attachments and links substituted with malicious ones. This shows up in email but may also appear in other mediums like social media platforms and texts.

5. Clickjacking: Legitimate websites could also be manipulated by phishers in several ways, e.g., in clickjacking, scammers use a website’s vulnerabilities to insert hidden capture boxes. These will grab user credentials and anything else you might enter on the otherwise safe sites.

How To Avoid Phishing Attacks

Do not trust alarming messages: Most legitimate organizations will not request personal information or account details via email; this includes but is not limited to your bank, insurance provider, etc. If you ever receive an email requesting any account information, delete it and confirm that your account is secure. Never open attachments in these types of emails, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint or PDF attachments, Jpegs, or png, as this can give phishers access to your device. 

Avoid clicking embedded links: Embedded links can be filled with malware. It will help if you take caution when receiving messages from vendors or third parties. 

Use anti-spam filters: Only open email accounts with providers that include spam filtering. Always use an efficient antivirus and an Internet security provider with advanced anti-spam features.

How To Protect Yourself from Phishing

The most efficient to protect yourself from becoming a victim of phishing schemes is to install and use proper Internet security software on your computer. You should use Virtually managed IT solutions if you require a complete internet security package to protect you from phishing attacks. We cover problems such as phishing and make internet activity secure.

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