How to Safeguard Your Information from Phishing Scams
Phishing attacks, where a cybercriminal sends a deceptive message that’s designed to fool a user into providing sensitive information such as credit card numbers or to launch malware on the user’s system, are on the rise. These types of attacks have become increasingly sophisticated, making them more dangerous and more common.
Phishing attacks are becoming more common because they can be extremely effective if done well. Cybercriminals are constantly coming up with new tactics to trick users into providing personal information or to launch malware on their systems. The attacks are also shifting to mobile and personal communication channels to reach users. This is because many people now use their mobile devices for personal and business communication, making them an easy target for cybercriminals.
The rise in phishing attacks is also being attributed to geopolitical strife disrupting ransomware gang activity and cryptocurrency — the preferred method of ransom payment — imploding as of late. This has led to bad actors going back to old-fashioned fraud to make money.
To protect yourself from phishing attacks, it is important to be vigilant when giving out personal information, whether it’s to a person or on a website. Always be suspicious of unsolicited emails or messages, even if they appear to be from a legitimate source. If you receive an email or message that looks suspicious, don’t click on any links or download any attachments. Instead, contact the sender to verify the authenticity of the message.
Another important step is to be aware of spearphishing. This is a more targeted form of phishing that often uses topical lures, so it’s important to be aware of current events and seasons. For example, during the holiday season, we can expect to see more phishing lures related to shopping deals. During regional tax seasons, threat actors might similarly try to exploit users in the process of filing their taxes with phishing emails that contain tax themes in the subject line.
Also, keep your computer and mobile devices updated with the latest security patches to protect against known vulnerabilities. Additionally, consider using anti-virus software and firewalls to protect your devices from malware and other cyber threats.
In conclusion, the rise in phishing attacks is a growing concern for individuals and organizations alike. These types of attacks have become increasingly sophisticated, making them more dangerous and more common. To protect yourself from phishing attacks, it is important to be vigilant when giving out personal information, to be aware of spearphishing, which is a more targeted form of phishing, and to be aware of phishing themes that may be related to current events or seasons. Additionally, it is important to keep your computer and mobile devices updated with the latest security patches to protect against known vulnerabilities, and consider using anti-virus software and firewalls to protect your devices from malware and other cyber threats. By being proactive and taking the necessary precautions, you can better defend yourself against phishing attacks and safeguard your personal and professional information.