What is Phishing – Types and How to Prevent Phishing Attack
Cybersecurity has become a buzzword today. Though technical security measures are improving, cybercrime is on the rise. The number of cyberattacks has grown exponentially. One of the most common and easy ways of cyberattacks is phishing.
Phishing occurs because of inadequate security of the network or sophisticated methods of hacking. There are other reasons as well. Even if your company exercises technically strong cybersecurity measures, some phishing emails get through and cause trouble. Let us understand what exactly phishing is.
What is Phishing
Phishing is a cybercrime or a cyberattack in which one or more targets are contacted by text message, email, or telephone. It is done by cyber criminals, who pose as authorized or legitimate people or institutions to trap individuals to provide sensitive or confidential data. Such crucial personal data consists of credit card or bank account details, passwords, and so on. With this acquired data, cybercriminals get instant access to a confidential data reservoir or an important bank account. The result is theft, fraud, or financial loss.
Considering these harrowing consequences, it is mandatory to know how to prevent phishing. The first step in such prevention is to recognize unknown and suspicious emails.
How to Identify Phishing Emails
To identify suspicious emails and ensure cybersecurity, look for the following clues.
- Wrong spellings of domain names
- Public email domains
- Incorrect grammar and casual language
- Suspicious links or attachments
- Urgent call for action
What Are the Types of Phishing Attacks
Before we go on to understand how to prevent phishing, let us understand the various types of phishing attacks. Generally, there are four types of phishing attacks.
- Deceptive Phishing: In this type of phishing, a single email is sent to a number of people. The data of those who click the dubious link gets hacked.
- Spear Phishing: The hacking is done with some amount of relevant research connected to the target to fake credibility and gets more clicks.
- Whaling: Powerful people are targeted in meticulously planned phishing attacks, done with focused and thorough research.
- Pharming: In these attacks, hackers buy domain names similar to popular websites and exploit the users.
How to Prevent Phishing Attacks
A business or a company thrives only if it is safe. Every enterprise must have insights into what is phishing and take firm measures to prevent phishing attacks. Robust and seamless cybersecurity practices make your defence a lot stronger. Do not delay in implementing tight and appropriate cybersecurity measures for your business. Here are some ways to prevent phishing.
Foster a culture of safety and security
Focus on social engineering and trust-building. Do not blame or punish the employees who have been the victims. The blame game will result in non-accountability, and the organization will suffer.
Check the authenticity of the emails
When you identify a suspicious or sensitive email, never hesitate to cross-check its authenticity and the sender’s address. Then verify the contents and inform the cybersecurity department.
Know the psychology
Phishing attacks the target and manipulates human psychology. These emails create an emotional appeal, gratitude, or false urgency, to capture attention and invoke action.
Train your staff
Those who are masters of how to prevent phishing will advise you to train your staff through awareness programmes. Checking the effectiveness of such training is always helpful.
Keep your information confidential
Make sure not to divulge your information on unknown and unsecured sites. Do not download any files from that site.
Update your browser
Update your browser from time to time. Updates have a particular purpose and function. They may tighten up your security and protect you from future phishing attacks.
Take technical precautions
- Trust only those websites that have HTTPS Certifications.
- Do not click on random advertising pop-ups. They might be designed to deceive and insert malware into the system.
- Change the passwords frequently to ensure maximum security of your data.
- Never use the same password on multiple accounts.
- Add advanced anti-phishing extensions to your system. They scan your emails to identify the phishing attack.
- Use spam filters that look into the origins of such email and determine if it is spam.
- Change your browser settings to prevent phishing emails and fraudulent websites from opening.
- Install desktop firewalls and network firewalls. Together, they minimize the chances of hacking.
Report the phishing
Do not ignore the phishing attack, and do not push it under the carpet. It may lead to repeated attacks or other long-term consequences. Report the phishing attack to the concerned authorities. Give them all the details. Let legal action take place to avoid future attacks.
Great careers await well-qualified cybersecurity professionals. Completing a well-chalked-out cyber security course is always a great option. You can take a cyber security course from Emeritus India as an additional qualification or a full-time career option. Emeritus India offers a number of cybersecurity certifications. Go for it and build a glorious future in this unique and high-paying domain.