Avoiding the Phishing Scams: The way forward

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Phishing is an online scam that is used to get sensitive information or data, which includes username, password, credit details from users. It is a social engineering technique that is used for misleading users.

According to Verizon’s 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report, email is used for malware distribution and phishing attacks. Cyber threat attackers use phishing emails and websites to scam individuals and organizations. Phishing is a popular fraudulent attempt to steal data by hackers such as passwords, usernames, financial details. Around the mid-1990s cyber attack came into place and it evolved to a sophisticated level as per today. The target of cybercriminals is individuals and organizations to exploit and steal data.

Hackers imitate email addresses and trick email recipients. This is done by attaching malicious links or files and attracts victims to click on the malicious attachments. Phishing emails are sent to millions of victims. Phishing emails can be impersonated as an email from Banks or someone unknown.  Phishing emails request victims to respond with their personal information like financial details, bank account details, or to transfer money.

Since the Covid-19, cybercriminals make use of Pandemic fear for their malicious gain done by phishing emails. 18 million Covid-19 phishing emails were blocked by Gmail around the first four months of 2020. According to a Threat report, every month millions of phishing websites are created. Hackers create a model of websites or pages of the legitimated ones. The main aim of hackers is to divert users from the original site to fake ones. When the user gets to a fake site, it will make the hacker get a hold of personal information of the user or malware will be installed. Many users are fooled by thinking that all HTTPS websites are secure but it is estimated that phishing campaigns have HTTPS.

Some of the cybersecurity guidelines:

  • Employees should be educated on cybersecurity threats
  • To report a phishing incident to implement a response tool
  • Maintain strong and complex passwords with multi-factor authentication.
  • Use secured Wi-Fi and ensures the use of VPNs.
  • Ensure the use of email authentication protocols to secure outbound mail flow.

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