Phishing associates with property theft via modern-day technologies. The fraudulent use online or offline devices to create a seemingly realistic message to obtain the trust of the users and take away vital resources; in most cases it is money. The hackers use naivety and lack of technical knowledge about the security of mass people to fulfill their vicious will as you always carry a smartphone with you. That’s why it is necessary that people understand the term ‘Phishing’, ways of identifying any phishing attacks, and measures for taking action to enhance the security of their property. By the end of this article, you will know all about what is Phishing and how you can prevent it.
What is Phishing?
Phishing is a kind of cyber-crime that is related to acquire people’s valuable information both offline or online. The crime can be carried out through a phone call, e-mail, text message, social media, etc. The fraud attempts to lure people with attractive messages or emergency requirements so that they fall into traps. Those who are unknown of phishing unwillingly give them vital information like bank account numbers, auction sites, passwords of social media, or even national identity.
In this age of modern technology, we are so much involved in using modern devices and the internet. The criminals have also shifted their focus to this online world. That’s the reason why users must be up-to-date about cyber-crime and phishing for their own good.
Here the word ‘Phishing’ is used because of the fraudulent attempts to get access to someone’s online world which metaphors catching the fish actually. Although the phenomenon of phishing has been known since the 1980s, it’s largely seen to occur from the early 2000s.
Types of Phishing
There are a number of ways that cybercriminals use theft. Phishing can be from a smaller scale like personal information to a larger scale even like a bank’s or a country’s security code. We as general users of modern-day technologies should have a better understanding of any illegal attempts on our online life. That’s why it is imperative that we know about different types of phishing.
1. Spear Phishing
In Spear Phishing, first of all, the fraudulent uses social media to get by a user’s name, address, phone no, ID to send e-mail from a look-a-like website that is well-known to the user. Most of the case links are provided in the spam mail. When the user clicks on the link thinking the mail has been sent from the legitimate site he/she redirects to some unknown website and thus the fraudulent get access to the vital information which was needed.
Although the most common or popular method of phishing is carried out through e-mails, it is also done through a phone call. Here the fraud calls someone and tries to convince that something is wrong with the user’s some kind of account and that he/she gives away a pin or password to the fraud. We have seen this type of phishing occur with ‘brash’ users. Many naive people have lost money by this vishing attack.
3. Whaling or CEO Attacks
Whaling phishing attack is directed towards big executives or CEOs of companies. Here the hacker attempts to get access to the PC or mobile phone used by the executives to get information on the company’s strategies. This is usually done by opposite business farms in order to be one step forward than their competitor.
4. E-mail or Logo Cloning
If an e-mail user is not careful enough while checking a mail he/she might befall into a heavy trap. Sometimes an e-mail is sent whose address is almost identical to the one users know about very well. For example, www.anazon.com is not the same as www.amazon.com, but you won’t be able to identify that an ‘m’ is replaced with an ‘n’ if you are not carefully looking at the address. In this case, often logo of a real organization is also made almost identical to further confuse the users.
How to Identify Phishing Attack?
Before taking measures against cyber-criminals, at first, you need to identify and recognize which are the spam messages. Here is a list of ways that you can use to identify different phishing attacks–
1. Generic Message
In most cases, a spam message will look like a generic message i.e. it will contain information about your account being critical, changing of password, or giving a link (most common). An example of this kind of e-mail is provided here –
2. Informal or Unnecessary Mails
‘Hi, Mr. X’ is a kind of greeting that you will generally associate with spam mail. Although the frauds have become smarter nowadays and they try to be more formal and realistic while sending spams still the informal greeting has not become uncommon for them. You should know how security matters in today’s technological world.
Banks or popular social sites (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) do not send you e-mails unless it is really necessary. So be careful about the timing of an email.
3. Too Lucrative
If you get a phone call, text message, or e-mail that says about winning a lottery or getting a big prize without you being attached to any activities like these, then you definitely can be sure of the fact that it has come from fraud.
How to Prevent Fishing Attack?
It has become very necessary for mass people to defend themselves against any phishing attack as in recent times we tend to share and store a lot of valuable information on our phones or computers. For the proper security both online and offline, we should take the required measures as mentioned below.
You may think ignoring is too easy a task to guard against such severe attacks, believe me, this is the most effective way to prevent phishing. Whenever you get a text message or e-mail from an unknown source and that looks malicious you just simply ignore it.
2. Using Spam Filters
You should use spam filters in your e-mail app so that spam messages are identified and throw away into the spam folder. Then you just delete this spam.
3. Sharing Vital Information
We often share vital information on social media and it is a bad habit. You do not know who may be looking for your IDs, birth date, license no. or your whereabouts. The information can be used to even make your identity and thieve from others.
4. Running Anti-virus Software
Organizations and companies need to train their employees about phishing attacks and how they can easily prevent any type of Phishing attempts. Thus they can be aware of the fact and be careful while documenting any official data.
Phishing has become a serious crime in this modern age of technology. But it is a fact that countries are not determined enough to bring about special laws and acts on preventing phishing attacks and punishing criminals. As technologies will grow along with cyber-criminals, general people, as well as governments and law enforcing agencies, must be more active in dealing with phishing. Now, we hope you know a lot about what is Phishing and how to identify and prevent them.