Phishing is a technique used by scammers to steal the personal details of unsuspecting people using email. A lot of phishing emails claim to come from legitimate sources or popular websites. These emails often ask the user to enter bank details or other personal information. Sometimes they will appear to be emails claiming the receiver has won something and that they need to enter their details to claim their prize.
Most of these fake emails redirect users to website pages with spaces where they have to fill in essential financial information usually used to access bank accounts or other personal accounts. Once the scammer gets a hold of the information, they can carry out fraudulent monetary transactions. .
Follow these 10 steps to protect yourself from phishing scams:
1. Learn to Identify Suspected Phishing Emails
There are some qualities that identify an attack through an email, such as:
- They duplicate the image of a real company.
- Copy the name of a company or an actual employee of the company.
- Include sites that are visually similar to a real business.
- Promote gifts, or the loss of an existing account.
2. Check the Source of Information from Incoming Mail
Your bank will never ask you to send your passwords or personal information by mail. Never respond to these questions, and if you have the slightest doubt, call your bank directly for clarification.
3. Never Go to Your Bank’s Website by Clicking on Links Included in Emails
Always, type in the URL directly into your browser or use bookmarks/favourites if you want to go faster.
4. Enhance the Security of Your Computer
Common sense and good judgement is as vital as keeping your computer protected with a good antivirus to block this type of attack.
5. Enter Your Sensitive Data in Secure Websites Only
In order for a site to be ‘safe’, it must begin with ‘https://’ and your browser should show an icon of a closed lock.
6. Periodically Check Your Accounts
It never hurts to check your bank accounts periodically to be aware of any irregularities in your online transactions.
7. Phishing Doesn’t Only Pertain to Online Banking
Most phishing attacks are against banks, but can also use any popular website to steal personal data such as Facebook, PayPal, etc.
8. Phishing Knows All Languages
Phishing knows no boundaries, and can reach you in any language. In general, they’re poorly written or translated, so this may be another indicator that something is wrong.
9. Have the Slightest Doubt, Do Not Risk It
The best way to prevent phishing is to consistently reject any email or news that asks you to provide confidential data.
10. Check Back Frequently to Read About the Evolution of Malware
You should try keep up-to-date with the latest malware attacks, recommendations or advice to avoid any dangers on the net, etc.
This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied upon as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)