Phishing Attacks and how to protect against them

What is a Phishing Attack?

Phishing is a type of scam. Scammers attempt to steal your confidential data/information like- bank account passwords, credit card numbers or your login details by sending a communication by Email, Call or SMS disguised as being from a trusted sender. These phishing emails look very genuine as scammers copy the organisation or individual format that they are disguised as.

If you have replied to a phishing scam, the scammer can possibly:

  • Hijack your usernames and passwords even your system.
  • Steal your money by opening bank accounts and credit cards in your name.
  • Use and abuse your Social Security number.
  • Use your personal information for illegal purposes.

How will I know if I’ve been phished?

Scammers often pretend to be genuine companies. Their emails might look genuine and their sites can look remarkably like the real thing. It can be hard to tell the difference, but it may be a phishing scam if you see the following:

  • Asks for confidential information/data via email or instant message
  • Urgent requests to respond
  • Misspelled URLs(spelling mistakes), suspicious copycat URLs(use of sub-domains)
  • Email with shortened links
  • Ask for your login credentials
  • Suspicious emails like Lack of a personal greeting or customized information within a message or email. Genuine emails from banks and credit card companies often use partial account numbers, usernames or passwords.

If you’ve been scammed and handed over your important information. Here are few signs to know phishing attack has been successful.

  • Unfamiliar transactions
  • Locked accounts
  • Spam email coming from your account

What is the treatment?

So, you’ve been scammed, what to do now?

  • Change all your passwords for the email and bank accounts that have been compromised as well as the accounts that use the same passwords to those that have been hacked by the hacker
  • Cancel your card If you entered your credit card information on the phishing page.
  • Take your computer offline or delete your email account to avoid spreading phishing links to your contact lists and friends.
  • Contact the company or person that was spoofed.
  • Scan your device for viruses – clicking malicious links can corrupt your devices without your knowledge.
  • Watch out for warnings of identity theft and put a scam alert on your credit account.

How can I protect myself from phishing?

Take these steps to strengthen your computer security and get better scam protection right away:

  • Do not provide personal information to unknown websites.
  • Only provide personal information on secured sites that have “HTTPS” in the web address.
  • If you have doubted you’ve received phishing bait, contact the company that is the subject of the email by phone to check that the message is genuine.
  • Use different and complex passwords for all your accounts.
  • Don’t enter your credit card information into unknown or untrusted services.
  • Practice safe email protocol
  • Don’t fall for clear scams that claim you’ve won a prize
  • Check the address bar for suspicious or copycat URLs, for example,
  • Don’t open messages from unknown senders
  • Immediately delete messages you doubt to be spam
  • Use antivirus software protection and a firewall on your computer
  • Use Two-Factor authentication for all your accounts

An unprotected computer is like an open door for email phishing scams. For protection, use a spam filter or gateway to scan inbound messages. Reliable Computer is known for its Email Spam Management services. With our team of professionals ready to deploy Spam Filtering for your network, you just need to let us know what you require.

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