According to IBM’s 2022 Cost of Data Breach Report, phishing attempts that resulted in stolen or compromised credentials cost businesses around $4.5 million. The report also shows that this figure could rise exponentially in 2023. This prediction makes it essential for businesses and organizations to set up good defenses against the perpetrators.
But, adopting the strategic offensive principle of war, the best defense is a good offense. The best option for businesses is to actively find and take down these phishing websites. This approach will help you protect your business image, minimize losses due to phishing attacks, gain the trust of your customers, and many more.
This article will explore various reasons why an active approach to taking down phishing websites is beneficial. We’ll also highlight some of the methods you can use to take down phishing websites. Finally, we’ll also answer some related questions you might have about the topic at the end of the article. So, ensure you read till the end.
Let’s get started.
Why Should You Take Down a Phishing Website?
Here’s how most phishing attacks work. Let’s see.
Scammers create fake websites or emails that look similar to legitimate ones. The purpose is to trick users into divulging private information including passwords, credit card numbers, and personal details.
That’s why it’s important to remove these phishing websites, and for the following reasons:
1. Protect Your Customers’ Personal and Financial Information
The best way to ensure that your users’ personal and financial information is protected from unwanted access is by removing the fake websites that target your customers.
2. Protect Your Users’ Identity from Theft
Users’ information that gets stolen after phishing attacks can be used by cybercriminals for identity theft and fraud. Taking them down helps to mitigate this risk.
3. Maintain Online Security and Keep Customers’ Trust
The availability of phishing websites reduces customers’ trust in online transactions which can affect sales for e-commerce businesses. Removing these bogus websites will contribute to the promotion of a reliable and secure online environment for e-commerce.
4. Protect Your Brand’s Reputation and Credibility
The majority of phishing attacks are towards well-known companies with lots of traffic. If not checked, phishing websites (mimicking your business’ website) can harm your brand’s credibility and reputation. That’s another crucial reason why you should get rid of these phony websites — to protect the reputation of your brand.
5. Ensure Data Privacy and Confidentiality
Data leaks caused by phishing websites are an infringement on users’ rights to privacy and secrecy. To ensure that your users’ information is secure, it’s better to remove these phishing websites from the internet.
How to Take Down a Phishing Website
We’ve given you some of the reasons why it’s crucial for businesses and organizations to actively take down phishing sites. In addition, we’ve highlighted some of the dangers these bogus sites pose to a business.
However, it’s important to know the steps you can take to close down phishing websites. Below are some of the approaches you can take to take down a phishing website:
Request a Cease and Desist Letter
- First, you can use a domain registrant search service (such as ICANN) to find and identify the suspected phishing website’s site administrator or domain registrant
- Then you should send a cease and desist (C&D) letter to the site administrator or domain registrar.
- In addition, you can also send a C&D letter to the CMS (Content Management System) system (for example, Wix, Squarespace, Shopify) that hosts the phishing website’s domain in case you didn’t receive any response from the website’s admin.
- Still no response? You can also send a C&D letter to the server host and the domain registrar (for example, GoDaddy, NameCheap) alerting them to the phishing website.
- If all the above steps don’t work, alternatively, you can contact the company that handles their payment processing (e.g. Visa, PayPal), if the bogus website is selling fake products.
Report to Google
Google is dedicated to keeping the internet safe from phishing websites. If you suspect a website of being a scam website, you can report the site to Google to take the appropriate steps to remove it.
To report a phishing site to google, follow the steps below:
- Visit www.safebrowsing.google.com
- Add the fake site’s URL
- Provide additional information
- Submit the report
Note: All the approaches discussed above are free. However, they can’t be automated and aren’t ideal when dealing with high volumes of spoof websites.
In cases where you’re faced with a high number of phishing websites or want to automate your anti-phishing security measures, use the service of a phishing site takedown company like RedPoints.
Use a Phishing Site Domain Takedown Service
What a domain takedown service like Red Points does is to help you detect phishing sites that are taking advantage of your brand on the web. But, that’s not all they do. They can also help you take down these bogus sites and even stop repeat infringers.
Frequently Asked Questions And Answers
What Are the Reasons for Phishing Attacks?
Phishing scams attempt to penetrate a target network or business by tricking victims into providing critical information like logins and passwords. Sensitive customers’ data such as personal and financial information are also targeted by scammers.
What Is the Best Solution for Phishing?
There are many ways you can mitigate the risk of phishing as a company. You can employ the service of a domain takedown service to remove phishing sites targeting your company from the internet. In addition, you can invest in educating your staff and users on avoiding phishing attacks.
What Can You Lose from Phishing?
When unauthorized individuals gain confidential data about a company or its users, there’s no telling what they might do with the information. Gaining access to private email, bank, or other accounts is one option, they can also sell the data to other con artists.
The increasing threat that phishing websites are posing to internet security and privacy is becoming a menace. And it would take the combined effort of individuals, groups, and the government to take them down.
By now, you should’ve realized how important it is to remove phishing websites from this article. As a recap, removing phishing websites would help you protect your customers’ personal and financial information, users’ identity from theft, and the brand’s reputation and credibility, among others.
Remember that everyone has a part to play in creating a more secure online environment.