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6 Best Ways you can Protect Yourself from Phishing Attacks

Dec 4, 2019

Umer Idrisi
6 Best Ways you can Protect Yourself from Phishing Attacks
In the last few years, the frequency of phishing attacks has spiked manifold. According to a report, phishing attacks have become a widespread problem, representing an enormous risk to individuals and organizations all over the world.

It hardly needs pointing out that we all need to be aware of the growing scourge that are bound to stay and unless organizations take remedial measures to prevent it, they will continue to be affected by it. But before we offer a solution to avert the phishing attacks, let’s first understand what phishing actually is.

Phishing is a vector for identity theft where hackers seek to get users to hand over personal and important information. Remarkably, phishing, in one form or another, has been around for years through phone calls and physical letter rip-offs.

Some information security experts now believe that hackers view phishing attacks as an effective—and easy—way of getting into a company to mount more sophisticated attacks. After all, humans are progressively seen as the weakest link and, therefore, the most effective target for hackers looking to penetrate a large company or small medium enterprise.

Here are the six ways you can prevent phishing attacks.

1. Stay Well-Informed About Phishing Techniques

Cybercriminals are always finding innovative ways to carry out phishing attacks. Therefore, you may easily fall prey to one such attack if you are not well-informed about a phishing attack.

Improve your knowledge of the new phishing scams that have affected organizations worldwide, and beware of what may trigger hackers to conduct such malicious attacks.  In this context, security awareness training and simulated phishing is highly recommended for IT executives and administrators.

2. Click only on reliable sites

Clicking on the links of sites that are not ostensibly reliable may land you in serious trouble. Ignoring links that appear in random emails and instant messages is the best move you can make. Just be sure that the links you want to click are genuine and credible.

A phishing email may claim to be from an authentic company and when you click the link to the website, it may look precisely like the real one. You may then be asked to fill out the information but the email may not include your name.

Most phishing emails will begin with “Dear Customer” so you should be watchful when you come across these emails. If you are doubtful, go straight to the source instead of clicking a potentially risky link.

3. Regularly Check Your Online Accounts

One easy way to avoid a phishing attack is to regularly check your online accounts. An account that is not checked even after a few days is open to being hacked.

And in addition to regularly checking your online accounts, make sure you change your passwords on a regular basis as well. To ensure no fake transactions have been made without your knowledge, you should personally check your accounts frequently.

4. Verify a Site’s Security

It’s natural to be a little cautious about providing important financial information online. So long as you are on a safe website, nevertheless, you ought not to land yourself in any trouble.

Prior to submitting any information, ensure the site’s URL begins with “https” and there should be a closed lock icon near the address bar. If you get a message stating a particular website may contain malevolent files, do not open the website.

Never download files from doubtful emails or websites—even search engines may display certain links which may take users to a phishing webpage which offers cheap products. If the user makes purchases at such a website, cybercrimes will be able to access the credit card details.

5. Never Give Out Personal Information

That the internet is a highly risky place to give out your personal information goes without saying. Therefore, a general rule suggests that you should avoid sharing personal or financially sensitive information on the World Wide Web.

When doubtful, you should visit the main website of the company in question, get its number and give it a call. A majority of the phishing emails will take you to pages where entries for financial or personal information are needed.

As an Internet user, you should never make private entries through the links provided in the emails, nor should you ever send an email with sensitive information to anyone. You should make it a point of checking the address of the website.

6. Use Antivirus Software

Installing antivirus software plays a key role in preventing phishing attacks. Antivirus software has special features that protect against technology loopholes and shortcomings.

So, to avoid the eventuality keep your software up-to-date and update the programs regularly. Firewall protection helps block the attacks by preventing access to malicious files.

Conclusion

There’s no single failsafe method to prevent phishing attacks. But the fact is they do happen quite often, and are a serious irritant for organizations worldwide.

However, you can prevent a potential attack from occurring if you act on the aforementioned tips, ensuring safety and security of your company’s data.
Guest Contribution: Madelyn Gomes is an enthusiastic tech-geek! I have been writing on a range of technical topics. I have long experience and career in content writing and copywriting with particular interest in digital marketing. Visit My Cyber Security blog.

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