Scammers are spread across the web to get unauthorised access to profiles, inboxes, and financial accounts. It may be possible that you receive fake emails asking you to furnish sensitive information. Phishing is one of several hacking tactics in which fraudsters send you fake emails that appear professional and genuine at a glance. They ask you to give permissions by clicking on a hyperlink. Once you do, you lose control of the account or profile that the link was concerned with. Since prevention is always better than cure, here are the ways to identify phishing emails and evade their attacks.
How can you spot a phishing emails/messages?
The most common tactic used by phishers is that they try to trap you by telling a story and prompt you to click on a hyperlink or an attachment. Following are some traits that you can catch.
1) A phishing mail conveys a false warning about suspicious login attempts in your account. Anyone who gets such an email may get startled compelling themselves to click on the hyperlinks provided.
2) You may get emails saying that there exists a fault in your account or your payment data. Since they are critical information, you may mistakenly reveal those to the phishers.
3) Most phishing emails demand you to confirm your account with a piece of personal information. Since you sign up on different websites, you may doubt yourself for entering incorrect information.
4) You may receive mail with a fake invoice attachment. As digital payment is getting common, it has now also become a tool for fraudsters.
5) Compelling to make a payment has been one of the most opted of method phishing. However, nowadays, banks are educating their customers not to reveal payment information on any platform.
6) Fraudsters often use the name of the government to easily earn the trust of people. They first inform them about a government refund and ask them to fill a form.
7) Everyone knows that nothing is free in this world. You may get emails containing coupon offers for buying goods or services for free.
How to avoid phishing attacks?
Nowadays, email service providers like Gmail, Outlook, and iCloud have developed stringent Machine Learning based algorithms to identify fraudulent emails and send them to the spam folder. However, you can follow these tips to stay alert and protect yourself from phishing attacks.
1) Watch out for the sender’s name and email address: Watch out for the received emails from abnormal names and email ids. They may be computer-generated or fake.
2) Keep your mobile applications up to date: Updated apps are capable of handling emerging threats. It’s better if you turn on the automatic feature in your smartphone.
3) Use a reliable web browser: Trusted web browsers like Chrome, Mozilla, and Safari automatically block dubious redirecting websites, thereby saving you even if you click on a hyperlink by mistake.
4) Use multi-factor authentication: Using two-layered protection is one of the most effective ways of defeating phishing attacks. Even if you mistakenly reveal your credentials, the second layer of verification like OTP or fingerprint can only be done by you.
5) Keep a backup of your data: Data is the new currency. Losing data can lead to irrecoverable losses. By keeping a backup, you can access your data if your active profile gets locked.
6) Never reveal banking information: Nowadays, banks warn their customer not to reveal any sensitive information to anyone no matter the person claims to be the bank’s employee.
7) File a complaint: If you suspect to have received a phishing email, you can file a complaint on the National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal (https://cybercrime.gov.in/).
Bonus tip: Visit your online accounts regularly. If you stay away from your account for a while, someone can attempt to access it with you being unaware.
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