Imagine the damage someone could do if they knew your Facebook password. Now imagine how much more harmful it could be if they had your banking information. Of course, you would never give over this information to a stranger, but what if they sent you an email pretending they were your bank. How would you know not to trust them then?
Be careful when asked to provide personal details because they could be phishing attempts aimed at stealing your sensitive account information. Did you know that 30% of all phishing emails that get sent are opened? Don’t underestimate the threat.
What is Phishing?
Phishing attempts look like legitimate emails from banks, businesses or other organizations. They direct readers to a seemingly innocent and trustworthy site, but are in fact fraudulent webpages that will request readers to insert personal and sensitive details, such as bank account information, credit card numbers, and passwords. These websites undermine online security as they are created with the intention of stealing personal information.
7 Tips to Avoid Phishing Attempts
Watch the spelling and grammar! Often these hackers don’t proofread
Read carefully to ensure there aren’t spelling and syntactical errors. Brands have an image to maintain, but hackers don’t.
Check the sender’s email, not just the display name
Hackers create a trustworthy display name and send from an email that looks similar to a legitimate brand. Be wary of small differences!
Double check that the hyperlinked URL is the same as the official website
Sometimes the link appears to be the official website, but be sure to hover over the link to see if that’s the real destination.
Does it instruct you to take immediate action?
It might mention a limited time offer or the potential loss or suspension of an existing account. The sense of urgency and fear is a classic phishing tactic.
Is there a signature with details how to contact them?
Legitimate businesses will always provide contact details near the bottom of any email they send you. If this is not included, be suspicious.
Have you been asked to input personal and sensitive account information?
It will direct you to a separate page that requires either passwords, bank account information, or both. If you have not initiated a request to change your password or account information, it’s rare that legitimate banks and companies will ever request you to change your personal credentials.
The best defense is a good offence.
Make sure you have effective antivirus software that protects against phishing.
Professional Anti-Phishing Solutions
The Chrome browser currently protects against phishing attempts by filtering URLs that were blacklisted for phishing attempts. This is helpful as a standard level of protection, but it will not protect you from phishing attacks in real-time.
ZoneAlarm anti-phishing has a different and more innovative approach. We identify new and unknown phishing attempts in real time, without slowing down the PC performance. Every time users intend to insert details in a webpage, we will verify whether that specific site is legitimate or not. If it appears to be a phishing attempt, we will stop you from disclosing your personal details.
Ensure your identity is protected online and be cautious of potential phishing attempts. Don’t get phished in!