We recently discussed ‘What is Phishing?’ Looking at its definition along with examples, but how can you stay protected from Phishing attacks? Phishing attacks are becoming more and more frequent with a recent survey stating that a phishing attack had targeted 85% of organisations. At Superfast IT we regularly help clients with their cyber security and information about phishing attacks including what to look out for when it comes to phishing attacks.
Where do Phishing attacks take place?
There’s a common misconception that phishing attacks only take place via E-mails. The truth is these attacks can occur in several places. Whenever you’re connected to the internet, you should always be alert to the possibility of phishing attacks.
Most people associate phishing with scam E-mails telling them they’ve won a too good to be true prize. There are thousands of different phishing E-mails, and millions are sent out each day hoping to catch anybody out. The subject of the E-mail changes on a frequent basis as these attacks will be quickly figured out, so they’re always evolving.
Surveys are a sneaky way of getting people’s information. They’re lured into filling out the survey which normally has the promise of a gift upon completion. The truth is that these surveys are designed to get personal information such as addresses and bank information.
The way companies advertise has drastically changed in recent times. More than ever we’re being targeted via the digital market which has opened a new way for scammers to try scam us. Ads on websites will often contain malicious links that can infect your machines. Never click any adverts that you see online.
Malicious adverts leads us onto malicious websites. People will spend their time to create entire websites designed to collect people’s details. These are usually designed like real websites such as banking, online shopping and more.
Six ways to stay protected from phishing attacks
Attachments and links
Contrary to popular belief it’s extremely rare that you’ll get a virus from simply opening an E-mail. The problem is when links and attachments are opened and clicked. Unless you are 100% sure it is safe you should never click a link or attachment in an E-mail.
Speaking of E-mails, it’s always important to be vigilant of the addresses they’re sent from. If it’s from a legitimate company, then you should be able to see a recognisable E-mail address. If an E-mail address is fake, then it stands a good chance it is a phishing attack. Look below for some examples of dodgy E-mail addresses;
When you receive an E-mail from a company you’re signed up with they will usually have your name stored on a database. So, when they send an E-mail out, they’re personable with them addressing you by your name. If you get a default ‘Dear Customer’ you should be wary of the E-mail. Untargeted phishing attacks will very rarely talk to you on a personal level.
Use HTTPS websites
Ever seen a little green lock next to a website URL? This is good! This means a site is safe and secure. Whenever making a transaction online make sure you’re using an HTTPS site, so your payment is secure. If you click the green lock, you’re able to see details of the security certificate that the site has been given.
It goes without saying you should never tell anybody your password or login details. You should also make sure you have a secure password as another layer of security against phishing attacks. It’s much easier for scammers to get personal information other than passwords. Take a look at our article on the ’25 Most commonly used passwords online’, if you use any of these change your passwords immediately.
Never interact with pop-ups
“YOU’RE THE 1000TH PERSON TO VISIT THE SITE TODAY, CLICK HERE TO CLAIM YOUR PRIZE!”. Pop-ups on websites are annoying, intrusive and often contain viruses or scams. You should close them straight away and never interact with them.
We hope this guide has given you some advice on how to stay protected when it comes to phishing attacks. Have you been targetted by a attack? Let us know down in the comments below.