Email Phishing is at an All Time High
Phishing is increasingly becoming one of the most common data and identity breach focused attacks that continue to affect a large number of Internet users. The number of phishing attacks attempted in 2016 surpassed any number that has ever been seen before.
Phishing, essentially, is a system-orientated attack that is geared toward stealing sensitive data such as login information, credit card numbers, and contact information. Most phishing scams are designed to appear as normal system activities or Internet webpages, and as a result, the victims most of the time aren’t even slightly aware that there could be something suspicious going on.
A Typical Phishing Scam
One of the most common methods of phishing attacks are done through email. Usually, the victim will receive an email from a seemingly familiar source that contains an attachment. When the victim clicks on it, it will open up a new website which looks extremely similar to a Gmail or Outlook login page. Victims might think that they have to login to download the file, but actually, logging in will save the login information onto the hackers’ database and they can access all of their emails, contacts, and other personal information.
How to Be Safe
First of all, always make sure that the URL that you are on is a recognized URL. If the page has a different address then what you are accustomed to, it could very well be a phishing website (or for other forms of malware). Nowadays, email clients and security programs have evolved to an extent where they will automatically filter out any email that looks even remotely suspicious. Also, using secure authentication (like 2-step), strong passwords, and organizing your email are other steps to lowering one’s risk of getting attacked.
Phishing is a very serious threat that can affect anyone from the average home Internet user to big corporations since it is a matter of the wrong people having access to sensitive and private data. Taking measures to protect your data using security software on top of being precautious when accessing new websites/opening new emails is paramount.
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