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What is phishing?
Phishing is a form of internet con in which fraudsters use email, text messages, advertisements, or other ways to impersonate genuine companies to steal personal information. Hackers use it to trick you into disclosing your personal information or account data. Once hackers get your information, they will generate new user credentials or implant malware (such as backdoors) onto your system to steal sensitive data.
Forms of phishing
Webroot.com explains standard methods of phishing, including the ones below:
- Email Phishing,
- Malware Phishing,
- Business Email Compromise,
- Search Engine Phishing
What to be weary off
Phishing emails and text messages sometimes appear from a firm you recognize or trust. They may appear from a bank, credit card business, social networking site, the online payment website or app, or online retailer.
Phishing emails and Messages frequently give stories to deceive you into clicking a link or opening an attachment. These are some things scammers say to trick you into giving your personal information.
- They usually convey that there is an issue with your account or payment information
- State that they have observed some suspicious behavior or login attempts
- They want you to confirm some personal information
- Send you a false invoice
- Request you to click on a link to make a payment
- Inform that you are qualified to register for a government refund.
How to Safeguard Yourself Against Phishing Attacks
In the United States, you can report a suspected scam attack to the Federal Trade Commission and in Nigeria to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC). However, there are initial steps that you can take to protect against phishing attacks.
1. Use security software to safeguard your PC. Set the software to automatically update so that it can deal with any new security concerns.
2. Keep your phone secure by setting software to update automatically. These upgrades may provide you with essential security protection against security risks.
3. Use multi-factor authentication to secure your accounts. Some accounts provide additional security by needing two or more credentials to log in. This is referred to as multi-factor authentication. The additional credentials required to log in to your account are classified into two types:
- Using a passcode obtained through an authentication program or a security key.
- Using the scan of your fingerprint, retina, or face. If scammers obtain your login and password, multi-factor authentication makes it more difficult for them to log in to your accounts.
4. Back up your data to protect it. Please make a backup of your data and ensure it is not connected to your home network. You can save your PC files to an external hard drive or the cloud. Back up your phone’s data as well.
5. Don’t click if you use a product or service from the firm that appears to be sending you the message. Instead, use a browser bookmark or a search engine to find the webpage.
If the email is genuine, you will see the same information when you log in to your account on the genuine website. This ensures you land on a legitimate website.
Phishing will continue to go sophisticated as digital development continues. But attacks can be prevented if we continue to create awareness.
Some of the preventive mechanisms discussed above are ways you could safeguard your personal information from hackers.