On January 13, 2022
You may be wondering, what exactly is phishing. Phishing is not the same as fishing, but it can be described metaphorically as fishing information from victims. This article will teach you about phishing, how to spot a phishing email, and how to report it.
Phishing is an attempt to steal personal information or gain access to online accounts by sending manipulative emails, messages, advertisements, or web pages that look like sites you already use. The goal is to trick you into visiting the site that will install a virus on your computer and steal your personal information and bank account information.
There are several types of phishing, with email being the most used method. Cybercriminals frequently target businesses and individuals through emails that appear to be from a valid financial institution, public authority, or organization. These emails are known as phishing emails, and they are a common and harmful aspect of cybercrime.
Fortunately, there are ways to protect yourself and maintain email security.
How to identify a phishing email
Today, phishing emails rarely begin with a message that leads you to believe the email you just received is malicious. They are becoming more difficult to distinguish from actual emails, and as a result, many people get hooked into clicking links within those emails and end up in trouble.
Cybercriminals frequently act quickly, claiming there is suspicious activity or log-in attempts associated with your accounts. You may also be asked to add or confirm personal information. Phishing emails will typically request your date of birth, social security number, phone number, credit card information, passwords, and even your home address.
These emails frequently claim there is a problem with your account or payment methods, and they usually include a fake invoice and ask you to proceed with payment.
There are also more inventive ways to manipulate you, such as when the sender, i.e., the cybercriminals, claims you are eligible for a refund or offers you gifts. Have you received an email informing you that you have won a brand-new iPhone and that you must click on the link provided to complete the process of claiming your prize? Does this ring a bell?
The most obvious way to identify phishing emails is through poor grammar. Any email sent by a genuine person or legitimate organization will and should be well written.
Remember that the senders have nothing to do with the companies they pose as.
How to report a phishing email
The most crucial thing to do if you receive a phishing email is to report it. All email service providers, including Gmail, Outlook, or Yahoo, offer the option of reporting these types of emails. You can also report phishing emails to the Anti-Phishing Working Group or the Federal Trade Commission if you have received one.
Reporting phishing emails reduces the number of suspicious emails you receive, makes you a more difficult target, and helps protect others from cybercrime.
Proactive ways to protect yourself from phishing emails
Email spam filters often block suspicious emails. Scammers are constantly trying to outwit spam filters, so it’s a good idea to add extra layers of protection. There are a few things you can do to protect yourself from phishing emails:
- Learn how to tell the difference between legitimate and scam emails. Believe us when we say that you’ll notice the differences much easier than you think.
- Use security software to protect your computer and phone and set it to update automatically so that it can deal with new security threats.
- For your accounts, use multi-factor authentication. Some accounts allow you to log in with two or more credentials, such as a password, a code sent to you via email or SMS, or a scan of your fingerprint or face.
- Back up your data to a cloud and an external hard drive as well. You can also back up the data on your phones. The higher the number of copies you have, the better.
- If you haven’t already, change the passwords on all affected accounts and enable multi-factor authentication.
- Report any phishing emails you receive so that your email service provider can evaluate them. Delete these emails after you’ve reported them.
- When you receive a phishing email, consider whether you have an account with the company or know the person posing as them. If the answer is no, the email could be a scam. If the answer is yes, contact the company or individual via their website or by phone to resolve the issue.
- Establish cyber security awareness campaigns and training and support in educating others about phishing.
These are some of the measures you can take to protect yourself. Reporting a single phishing email will not solve the problem, but if we all do so, we’re getting closer to making the internet a safer place.
To summarize, phishing occurs when cybercriminals use phishing emails or other types of communication services to trick their victims into disclosing sensitive information. The most common type of phishing is phishing emails, defined as cybercrime that uses trickery to steal confidential information from users and organizations.
When people become aware of phishing, they become more cautious about the emails and messages they receive, the websites they visit, and the attachments they download.
As this is a global issue, it is fundamental to increase awareness of phishing, how to protect yourself and what to do if you are successfully phished.