Phishing is used to lure the user to click emails, text messages and links by impersonating a trusted organisation so as to steal the users data, login details and credit card numbers. This type of cybercrime comes in many forms and it is important that you are able to recognise them in order to protect yourself and your data.

Types of Phishing

Urgent emails that scare users to respond immediately by updating account information through a link. This urgency wants to pressure the user into clicking on a link. To avoid this phishing method, always check if it is a legitimate email and link.

Spear Phishing is a targeted attack on a user by impersonating a business or organisation that the individual already knows by researching the user to find this information making the success of the impersonation more successful. The user will be more trusting to click on a link from a source they already know. They always mimic the original website by copying the same typeface, logos, phrases and layout.

Link Manipulation use deceptive links which take a user to a malicious website when clicked on. To protect yourself from this phishing method always check the address of the website before clicking on it.

Vishing or Voice Phishing is used to get bank account information and occurs when the user receive a phone call which requires them to dial a number which is usually a fake caller ID.

Smishing or SMS Phishing requires the user to click on a link within a SMS message which then would lead to a phishing website to gain personal information from the user.

Check Criteria to Use Before Clicking on a Link

It is important to check the following criteria before clicking on any link in email, SMS or on a website. You can protect yourself from phishing attacks this way.

Check that the domain name and subdomains in the URL have not been changed. Normally, the actual URL of the original website will have been altered to resemble the original but it will have been slightly tweaked. This will make you think that it is a secure link and you will be more likely to click on it. If you are unsure, search for the actual website online and compare the URLs.

Offers that are so promising that they are unbelievable or any offers that are attention grabbing need to be investigated and you should never click this type of a link.

Urgent emails or SMS messages should be treated with great caution and links form such messages should never be clicked on. Rather call the business or organisation and check if the message is legitimate.

Only open attachments in emails that are .txt files. Other attachments should only be opened if you are expecting them and they don’t seem out of the ordinary.

Check that a website has a SSL (Security Socket Layer) certificate with a URL that begins with ‘https”.

Ways to Secure Your Data From Phishing Attacks

A small business should use two-factor authentication to secure their networks and data when users log in. Users should be encouraged to change their passwords frequently and they should always passwords that are unique and have not been used before. All users should be educated on what phishing techniques exist and how to recognise them. This will help them avoid clicking on suspicious links.

For more information and an obligation free discussion about how 4s Systems can help you implement and support your Cyber Security requirements please call us now on 0203 92 66 999 or click here