The 21st Century has been a constant stream of innovations and progress for the world. Many normal procedures and activities transitioned onto the cyber plane. Digital integration became vital to perform day-to-day activities as it provided streamlining and convenience. Digital progress has accommodated and revolutionized many aspects of human life, but some bad does follow with all the good.
The digital plane, too, has its own weakness and vulnerabilities. Like how a business or person is in situations and places in danger of being robbed or mugged, the cyber-world has hackers trying to infiltrate systems and steal confidential or personal data. Among the many types of hacking attempts, phishing attacks are gaining more popularity since they are commonly used in the hacker community.
Phishing attacks generally involve a link that is spread through a spam email or some other method. When clicked, the link automatically and unbeknownst to the user downloads malware and other harmful applications on the target’s system. These applications help the hacker infiltrate the target’s system and access the user’s data.
In recent years, the email templates used by hackers are improving incredibly, according to the CEO of a cybersecurity company in Los Angeles.
There are some ways in which one can distinguish between a safe email and an email that was sent with malicious intentions. An email that a hacker sent to infiltrate your system or collect sensitive information will look exactly like a normal email. This is where the attention to discernment takes priority. The defense against cyber attacks is to implement precautions to stop them from happening.
1. Check the URL’s
One of the very first steps you could take to avert a phishing attack is always to check the hyperlink of every email included link you get.
Usually, phishing attack-related emails come in the form of a company contacting you to reset your password or to follow a link to verify your account information. The best thing to do before anything is to simply hover your cursor on the link or copy that link and paste it onto a text file.
Phishing links will have small changes in the URL. For example, if the links divert to a bank of America website, it will have the URL “Bank 0f America” or changes around those lines.
Usually, nobody checks these links and simply clicks on them. Even if they did without being educated about these kinds of hacking attempts, they would not notice anything wrong.
Once clicked, the attempt could take place in a variety of manners.
You could be taken to a page that looks like a normal Bank of America landing page but is a copied version where all the login credentials you type in are documented by the hacker, and you end up thinking the link wasn’t working.
This is how people end up losing all their hard-earned money directly from their accounts.
2. Go through your emails
It is understandable that with the large volume of emails you get at work or at home, leisurely opening any email and following whatever looks interesting comes naturally. However, going through the email first can be vital to putting a stop to any phishing attempts.
Usually, phishing email lacks the grammatic accuracy and normal email-related dialogues that you see in a general email.
These types of emails are a big red flag and should be deleted on the spot. If received on a work email, it should be left alone, and employees should immediately contact IT personnel.
However, not all phishing emails are filled with grammar errors and anomalies.
As time progresses, hackers are perfecting their art. Many times a phishing email will be identical to any other official or personal email you would get. Hackers are skilled enough to copy logos greetings and make their email look identical to a real one.
This is why knowing what kind of emails you can expect is a vital part of preventing phishing attempts.
People need to be educated about the precautions to stop phishing attempts at work and publicly create a safer cyber environment. To ensure a thriving, it is vital to make the digital platform as safe as possible.