Phishing targets thousands of users every year. It’s when someone sends you a fake email or message to trick you into revealing personal information. This can be a message about winning a lottery or a false alert about your bank account. Many cybercrimes happen this way, leading to loss of money and personal data.

This guide will provide essential information about phishing, common types of attacks, and simple ways to identify and avoid them. Stay connected!

Also Read: What is Malware? 7 Types of Malware You Should Know

What is Phishing?

Phishing is an online scam where criminals send deceptive emails to collect sensitive information. These emails often come from unknown or fake domains and contain links that, when clicked, can compromise your data. This can lead to financial losses and other forms of harm. The specific goals of phishing emails may vary, but they always result in some form of loss for the victim.

It has seen that most of the time, people aren’t even aware that they are being targeted by an phishing attack. Therefore, it is important to know the various kinds of phishing attacks targeting many people every day.

Some Common Phishing Types You Should Know

After getting noticed for the first time in 1987, phishing has developed into many different strategies. However, as digital technology advances, these attacks always come up with new ways to exploit people’s lives. The most comprehensive types of phishing are the following:

Common Email Phishing: 

  • Attackers send emails that appear to come from legitimate sources to steal confidential information.
  • Example: An email that looks like it’s from your bank asking you to verify your account details.

Malware Phishing: 

  • The attacker’s goal is to make you click on a link and download an infected attachment, installing malware on your system.
  • Example: An email claiming to have an invoice attached from a known company but actually contains a malicious file.

Spear Phishing: 

  • Targets a specific group with tailored messages that appear to be from an authentic source.
  • Example: An email sent to employees of a company from what looks like the IT department asking for login credentials.

SEO Phishing: 

  • Cybercriminals build fake websites that rank high on search engines to collect personal information.
  • Example: A fake website that appears when you search for a popular service, tricking you into entering your details.

Vishing:

  • Scammers call victims pretending to be from legitimate companies to extract personal information.
  • Example: A caller claiming to be from tech support asking for your computer’s login details.

Now, you are aware of the common phishing attacks, Now, let’s move on to find out the simplest ways to spot phishing emails and secure your account from such unauthorized activities.

3 Ways to Spot Phishing Emails

Firstly, we will let you know about the simple ways to spot phishing emails so that you can mark them as spam or simply avoid them.

email phishing

1. Strange Character in URL: For every new email, you should first verify the email address. This is the most important step and can help you from the most unsafe emails. Then, you can also examine the content of the mail and also the links (if any) to decide if it’s genuine or look suspicious. You should never click on the links delivered in suspicious emails.

2. Avoid Alluring Emails: One of the easiest ways to trap a user in an email phishing attack is by offering them free rewards or prizes. Therefore, pay attention to the emails such as:

Greetings such as “Dear Customer” – Valid communication from the company you do business with usually contains your name like Dear “Your Name”.

Free Products and Services, Super-Supplier Travel Deals, Rewards, or Other Financial Proposals to notifying account issues, etc.

3. Unsolicited Phone Calls: Nowadays, your mobile phone might already identify spam callers and warns you before picking up the call. You can use applications such as Truecaller for this purpose. However, still, there can be calls asking for payment or debit card pin or offering free products and services from government agencies, utilities, banks, or significant companies.

How to Prevent Phishing Attacks?

There are few simple and workable tips to not get trap in any phishing activity. See the below key points.

Please check the “from” address of the email. If it says from American Bank or Apple or an unknown external domain, it could be an online scam.

The mouse hover on the link in the suspicious email reveals the correct address. You can also check URLs using tools such as Virus total and Google Safe Browsing.

Use Antivirus software to keep your system clean and updated. Also, enable the firewall and other security settings to block malicious attacks.

Develop a habit of using a strong and unique password for your online accounts. This reduces the chances of getting your profile hacked.

Never provide your personal, financial, or any other sort of information over the email unless you have verified everything about the domain.

Wrapping Up

In the above guide, we have talked about the phishing attack in the most straightforward form. It also helps you know the different forms of phishing activities happening in the world and how you can stay protected.

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