Phishing is the homophone of fishing. In fishing, fishes are lured and tricked with food likewise in phishing; end users are tricked by the cyber criminals to click on the malicious links or the link contain in spam emails. Phishing attack also lead to the end user in installation of malware on the victim machine.
Phishing is an attack or the technique used by the cyber criminals to steal the end user/victim information like username, password, bank details, credit/debit card details and every detail entered by the user for malicious purpose. Attacker also masquerades as the legit entity over the internet, results in gaining trust of the end user and scamming them to enter their private information which can also leads to the identity theft.
Phishing is an extensive threat and propagated with the emerging new ideas and techniques. Phishing is the part of social engineering. Cyber criminals use emails, social media, Short URLs to scam end user. Social media like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and also instant messaging apps like WhatsApp, Hike are the more preferred and most favorite among the cyber criminals to scam the victim.
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Attackers are likely to create the clone of the legit website and trick the end user to enter the personal information; as a result user credentials and personal information are compromised. Other than this there are numerous ways the victim information can be gained by the attacker through this social engineering technique. This is how the user can be scammed but certain precaution can prevent you to become victim of phishing attack.
Tips to prevent phishing attacks
- Inspect Email before taking any action. Go through the email body and if necessary review the email headers and identify the source address of the sender. Legit companies never ask for sensitive information via email. Sometimes they also pretend to be the legit sender by sending well structured and personalized email, always check source address to prevent from such attack.
- Never click links or hyperlinks mentioned in email. If you are too curious to visit than it is good practice to open new tab/browser and enter the URL manually.
- Avoid filling and submitting forms embedded in email.
- It is good practice to enter personal details or sensitive information on secure sites (https://). Avoid filling details in the pop-up windows.
- Beware of links appeared on the social media or chats that ask credentials. Sometime clicking on such links results in session hijacking or cookie stealing.
- Protect your computer with firewall, anti-virus, anti-malware, anti-spyware software. If you are looking for free and worthy software for Windows protection, than I recommend Microsoft Security Essential (Windows Defender).
- Stay updated with latest web security and privacy.
These are some of the basic precaution that are required to prevent phishing attack. You are welcome to give and add more tips to prevent phishing attack via comment. Explore our guide on how to stay safe online to avoid being victim of any hacking attempts. Keep sharing. Stay tuned to Tech Tunes.
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