Phishing is a technique that is used by Internet criminals to steal information. As a cyber attack phishing uses email as a tool to make the recipient think the information they receive is real. The easiest way to prevent such attacks is to identify phishing among your daily correspondence.
Phishing attacks usually appear to be a cloned website of a legitimate one (banks, well-known organizations and companies, that the recipient might have business with. Emails are sent with generic greeting, so hackers won’t need to type the names of everyone they target and they ALWAYS require you to enter sensitive information. Besides, the URL address of such fake emails will contain mistakes, which is an identification that it’s simply an imitation of a trusted website.
Phishing is one of the oldest ways of cyber attacks. The first attempts of phishing are dated back to 90th. It still remains the most simple way of stealing data and in the meantime the most effective.
The main types of phishing attacks
Phishing may appear in different forms. Except for email phishing scams there are:
- Spear phishing (someone may get information about one of your colleagues and require personal data from you on behalf of his name)
- Pop-up warnings (when you see a small ad while browsing, that is hard to close/ clicking it by accident may result in downloading malware or Trojan horse)
- SMS phishing (like in email phishing, a recipient gets a fearful message requiring to visit a website or dial a phone number)
In case you became a victim of phishing activity:
- You have to change all your passwords-protected websites and update your accounts;
- Call your bank manager to report that your passwords and other sensitive information have been hacked;
- Run effective antivirus software to indicate and neutralize malicious programs on your computer.
Phishing continues growing its popularity among cybercriminals. It’s working and the methods are getting more sophisticated than ever. That’s why you should keep an eye out: got an email that looks unusual, with an immediate call to action? – Be suspicious! Download new versions of antivirus software that would increase your security on the Web. And remember that real organizations don’t ask for your billing information. Most likely it is a phishing attack.