Hackers use various types of cyber attacks, but phishing attacks are the most terrifying ones.
Do you know Google blocks around 100 Million of them each day? Technology giants Facebook and Google lost $100 million due to a phishing fraud.
Around 92% of organizations were affected by phishing scams in 2022. According to the reports, in 2021, 323,972 online users were deceived by phishing scams.
The guide is all about how you can protect yourself against phishing attacks.
Historical Phishing Attacks
Let’s look at some of the horrendous incidents that call for safety against phishing.
Russian Hackers Stole Millions of Dollars Using Dyre Malware
Russian hacker group Dyre created malware In early 2015. The attack caused millions of dollars in losses. The phishers pretended to be tax consultants and convinced thousands of victims to download malicious files.
Sherwin-Williams, Miba, and RyanAir were included in the victims list.
The Nordea Bank Incident
In 2007, the Swedish bank Nordea lost over 7 million kronor due to phishing attacks. The attackers fooled victims by installing the haxdoor. It is a trojan malware that was portrayed as anti-spam software.
The trojan malware installed keyloggers secretly in the systems of victims. It communicated with the hacker when the customers typed their login credentials and gave them an open hand to conduct their fraudulent activities.
Many potential frauds are also out there, including Etsy scams. The above mentioned case studies and statistics prove how dangerous these phishing attacks are and why protective measures against them should be taken.
Top 8 Effective Strategies To Prevent Phishing Attacks
Make sure you follow these strategies to protect yourself against phishing attacks.
In 2022, 48.63% of the emails users received were spam.
As mentioned above, hackers portray phishing emails as authentic, and victims cannot gauge them. They feel tempted to click it and download malware into their systems.
Make sure you have an idea about what is my IP to ensure you hide it from potential hackers.
Always remember that authenticated brands and organizations never send links that ask for your login credentials.
Refrain from falling into the trap of Phishers by mindlessly typing in your password. Always verify.
VPN protects against phishing by creating a tunnel to exchange data from your location to the destination server. The original data gets encrypted and travels through the tunnel to its final destination.
If you receive a deceiving email from a hacker that asks for your bank account details and you are connected to a VPN, traffic will stay encrypted, and your IP address will remain hidden as the VPN will generate a new IP address for you.
Due to this new location, it will be difficult for the hackers to locate you and steal your bank account information.
Think twice before clicking on any link
Do not click on any ambiguous random links you receive because you never know what these links have in them. Always double-check before clicking.
You must confirm the sender and the location it’s coming from. One way to identify the site is by taking the cursor over the URL. Something is suspicious if the URL does not match the sender’s email address.
For example, You may receive an email from PayPal that states your account has been suspended due to unrecognized login attempts. To reactivate your account, click the link below to verify and confirm your identity.
When you click on the link, you will be directed to a website 100% similar to the actual PayPal website. If you log in any detail, you will fall into a trap.
Thus, you should always confirm the sender’s location by verifying with the URL.
Use Third-Party Security Systems
By using third-party security systems, you provide an extra layer of protection. These systems automatically filter emails you receive by comparing the sender and content of the emails with the common format of phishing attacks.
They automatically block your system from phishing web pages.
Lastly, they can prevent you from downloading malware into your PC by instantly notifying you about it.
Advanced Threat Protection, The Mail Laundry, and Mime Cast are the prime products you can use to secure yourself.
Train Your Team
Training your team should be your priority if you are running a business.
Education is everything, and you should offer your team regular cybersecurity training so they know how to identify phishing attacks and seek protection from them.
Invest in conducting regular cybersecurity meetings. You can hire a professional cybersecurity specialist to help your team effectively deal with phishing attacks.
You can even consider online cybersecurity training resources.
Creating resistance between your system and external forces can protect you from adverse consequences. Hackers look for vulnerable websites and attack them with phishing.
When your system receives malicious attacks, the firewall installed in your system will not allow it to process the request sent by the hacker.
By installing firewalls, you protect yourself against online malicious attacks as they closely monitor data distribution to prevent accidental penetration and exposure against third parties.
For example, you visit an infected website while shopping online. The malware from the website will start downloading automatically.
However, a firewall installed in your system will provide resistance. It will not allow it to download and keeps your system protected from malware.
Keep your systems updated
Devices with outdated versions are more likely to be attacked by hackers than updated ones. Hackers are hunting for vulnerabilities that function on outdated software, as these devices are an easy target.
This is precisely why you get multiple security updates from your operating system so the protection of your device can be maintained.
Keeping your browser updated is equally important as well. Phishers plant their malware on standard websites by purchasing advertisement spots.
An outdated browser will have troubled plugins. Hackers will be able to manipulate your browser due to flawed plugins.
Hence, it would help if you kept your device and browsers updated. The stronger the protection, the harder it will be for the hacker to hack.
Frequently change passwords
Phishing emails aim at stealing login credentials. You should frequently keep changing your account passwords so that hackers cannot have unlimited access to your account to tamper with your data.
You can add extra security to your account by using Two-factor authentication. It protects your understanding by asking for an additional code when an unauthorized user tries to log in to your account.
What if you click on a link from the Phishing Email?
If you receive a convincing email, you won’t resist but click on it. What do you do next? Consider the following tips to make amends.
- If you are taken to a bogus page after clicking on the link and the page asks for your personal information, don’t enter it.
- Make sure you are good at reporting scams. For instance, if you see some phishing activity on your cash app, then ensure you have an idea about how to report a scam on a cash app.
- If you click on the suspicious email and do not notice anything happening, there is a possibility that trojan malware is being downloaded silently without your knowledge. In such a case, please turn off your system and disconnect it from the internet.
- Immediately change your password because the hackers will have access to your account otherwise.
Strategy Beats Common Sense
You can only sometimes stay vigilant while browsing the internet, which is why you need a strategy.
Implement the strategies mentioned above to keep yourself protected from phishing attacks.
Vigilance, proactive actions and seeking expert help is the key to being cyber secure!