The threat of phishing continues to be a headache for users. First of all, phishing attacks are widespread and undeniably productive. The reason is that scammers use various online techniques in pop-up ads, fake e-mails, and phone calls to lure users into a con.As a result, most industries and businesses are not secure from cyber attack threats because of the sensitive data they handle.
Individual users are not left behind, as well. Therefore, antivirus becomes a basic need. Notably, phishing protection has become a defining factor in choosing an appropriate one. One may follow the link to TotalAV review to make sure.
At the same time, if you have no antivirus yet, it’s better to know more about phishing attacks and their prevention.
How Do Phishing Attacks Work?
When it comes to phishing, scammers cast a wide net, hoping to attract as many people as possible. Phishing is mostly a starting point for more continuous cyber-attacks. First, scammers hack websites, e-mails, or messages that contain links or file attachments. When a user clicks on these attachments, the link may lead to the installation of malware downloaders.
Next, the downloads connect the scammer to control servers, which ask for more codes. Hackers use convincing wordings such as ‘claim your price,’ ‘great discounts,’ ‘download for free’ in their malicious links.
These individuals are persistent, and they keep sending different versions of phishing e-mails and messages. They pose as a friend, boss and frequently send messages which take one click to cause a huge disaster.
Remember, they aim to encourage you to give away sensitive information that may be used to their advantage. However, most users click on the links out of carelessness, inattentiveness, or without their knowledge.
The methods used by most hackers include:
- Publishing URLs
Hackers come with altered or stolen business logos to trick their target recipients. The fact that almost 150 thousands of phishing attacks in the first half of 2020 alone only supports this notion.
Common Types of Phishing Crimes
There are various types of phishing crimes that users may experience. Here are some of the most widespread ones deriving from the hackers’ actions.
When using E-mail, hackers may mimic a familiar brand or company to assist you in resolving an issue. Some e-mail hacks match a business or person you communicate with most. The attachments contain links meant to install malware on your device.
In most cases, whaling attacks target high-end bankers, executives, or influential people with high credentials. The aim is to manipulate the victim to authorize sensitive information to the attacker.
Whaling does not necessarily involve the clicking of links or attachments. Instead, users are tricked into disclosing information of value through e-mail and website spoofing techniques.
Most whaling attacks are successful as they devote efforts to these campaigns because of the high returns. Attackers gather information on their victims through social media and find out information on their birth dates, hobbies, and relationships.
The spear-phishing technique is meant to target specific businesses. Hackers target industry owners who they find valuable in a particular aspect.
In this cyber attack scheme, a hacker may go after a third-party vendor, capture their credentials, and use the information to access a specific customer who is target using a malware download.
Phone and text phishing
Hackers may use your mobile phones to send you malicious links. These links act as direct access to a phishing website. You may think you are on the actual website because hackers mask the address bar with a picture and logo of a real URL to fool you.
They leave voice messages over the phone with instructions or warnings about an issue. They then reference private information such as bank accounts you have received services from lately. Scammers use this to fool you to disclose passwords, pins, or other crucial data that could be of advantage to them.
Most websites make their revenue through the help of ads. However, some hackers embed these ads with malware. When you click on these ads, the malware software goes directly to your device.
Use of social media
Social media has a vast target audience; this is why it’s a breeding place for potential hackers. They send you friend requests asking you to respond to a quiz or game on Facebook. When you accept, it asks you personal questions such as favorite restaurants close to home, hobbies, or location.
The information you give out may unconsciously expose where you live, places you like to visit, or your spouse. This information is enough for hackers to figure out your passwords, pins, and give scammers a straightforward way to hack your accounts.
Social media users who post pictures of their game tickets with barcodes put themselves at potential risk as scammers scan these codes to capture their private information. Some thieves steal images posted on Instagram or Facebook and use them to carry out malicious activities elsewhere.
How to Protect Your Device Against Phishing?
Fortunately, preventive measures exist to protect your device from phishing attacks. In this regard, the best options are to:
- Browse with HTTPS
- Be cautious with threats.
- Watch out for suspicious e-mails.
- Be careful when clicking on shortened links.
- Be aware of phishing schemes.
Implementing most of these techniques will require no significant effort. However, you will need to make them your routine for greater efficiency. Nevertheless, there is always a solution related to advanced antivirus systems. Using them on your devices improves your chances of staying safe from phishing scams.