What is Phishing?
The fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to obtain sensitive information. This includes personal information such as passwords, and credit card numbers. Phishing emails will look just like a normal email from real companies. Oftentimes, it could be an email asking you to reset your password from a credit card company or any company you currently are a customer of. Many people follow through with the instructions as they are unaware that it is a scam. You should only click on links and follow instructions if you have requested the password reset. Otherwise, your information is a risk to the hands of hackers.
Most Common Phishing Attempts:
Email Phishing: The most common form of phishing is from emails. Cybercriminals register fake domains that mimic a real company, and from there they send out thousands of emails with requests to reset passwords and other forms of fraud.
Spear Phishing: This is a form of email phishing that is targeted to specific individuals for a single response.
Whaling: A phishing attempt that is targeted at senior executives. They understand that these individuals have access to more important documents and resources. Hackers use malicious URLs and fake links to reach and imitate senior staff.
Smishing and Vishing: This is the phishing attempt that is used through phone as opposed through email. Cybercriminals send text messages with malicious links, which is smishing. Vishing involves phone calls in which hackers try to gain access to information over the phone.
Angler Phishing: One of the newest attack methods using social media. This includes fake URLs, cloned websites, posts, tweets, and instant messaging. Cybercriminals will often include downloadable content in which the links will lead to viruses.
3 Examples of Common Phishing Emails:
Court Notice to Appear: An email will come from a real law firm stating that you are scheduled to appear in court and should click on a link. Clicking installs malicious software designed to steal information.
Tax Refund: Cybercriminals understand that many of us anticipate a tax refund and send fake emails imitating to be the tax refund only to infect your system.
Banking: A fake link claiming to be your bank where you can earn additional rewards for mobile deposits.
How to Protect Yourself from Phishing
– Never reply to suspicious emails from people you don’t know.
– Don’t click on links from text messages from unknown contacts or promotions.
– Carefully look at the sender of an email. Even if it is coming from a reputable source, it could still be a disguised scam.
– Remain calm as cybercriminals try to trick victims into doing something out of fear.
What Hackers Do With Your Information
– They sell your data to other criminals through the dark web. Millions of personal records are stolen and sold to other cybercriminals.
– Your personal information is fuel for identity theft. They take your information and apply for credit cards and attempt to purchase items posing to be you.
– They use your credentials to log into your business and spy on you. They then infect your network and devices with malware in an attempt to ruin your business.
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