Phishing Attacks Are on the Rise – What to Look Out For

Phishing attacks are becoming a real threat for both individuals and organizations around the globe. 

A report by Verizon shows that 67% of data breaches are caused by phishing email scams alone. Learn how to protect yourself from phishing by familiarizing the common signs of a phishing scam.

Phishing is a technique hackers use to steal personal information or account data. It disguises itself as a trusted entity to trick you into clicking a malicious link sent via an email, instant message, or text message.

So if you want to know how to prevent phishing attacks, here are some of the signs you need to look out for.

“Urgent” messages

Phishers know how to get your attention. In fact, their subject line alone can usually give their scam away. Look out for common key phrases such as:

  • Urgent
  • Attention
  • Payment status
  • Important
  • Congratulations

Their emails often create a sense of urgency to compel you to act immediately. For example, you might receive an email that says your bank account is being deactivated. It then tells you to click on the link to stop it from happening. 

Keep a wary eye out on emails that sound demanding and urgent. Just keep calm and go through the content carefully to confirm whether it is a phishing scam or not.

Suspicious email domains

Sophisticated phishing emails can lull you into thinking it came from a legit source. It may even masquerade itself as a reputable company by using the same logo and layout design as the original. But when you look at the email domain, that is when the illusion would shatter.

The first red flag is when the domain name does not match the apparent sender of the email. For example, the email claims to be from Netflix, but there is no “Netflix” after the @ symbol. Another red flag is when the domain name is misspelled or has additional numbers or symbols in between.

The best way to combat this is to verify the email source before deeming it safe or unsafe. A quick web search can easily confirm what specific email domains a company uses for its official communications.

Asks for your sensitive information

When it comes to preventing phishing attacks best practices, the golden rule is to never give away your sensitive information to anyone—online or in real life. This includes your password, email address, and social security information.

Legitimate companies will never ask for any sensitive information. In fact, their emails will often warn you from revealing such details. So when you see an email or message asking for such information, you better ignore it and delete it from your inbox.

However, some phishing scams can be more subtle in getting your personal details. They would send a link to redirect you to a dummy website where you will mistakenly input your password and username.

Prevent this from happening by first checking the website’s URL and researching it. Another alternative is to secure your passwords using password security management software or replace it altogether using a multi-factor authentication solution like Authlogics.

Poorly written email

One of the most obvious signs of a phishing email is bad grammar. You can always tell when an email is a scam if it contains incorrect punctuations, misspellings, or awkward sentence structures.

Some might sound professional at first. But as you continue to read on, you will start to see the crack in its content. Ensure to read the email carefully before deciding whether it’s legit or not.

Whether it’s for personal use or to protect your organization’s data, it’s crucial to equip yourself with the right tools and experts for security. Organizations often have IT teams with varying levels of skills and experience, with some existing talent pools getting a programming degree online to expand their knowledge. Having tools to safeguard your organization is just as important. 

Includes attachments or links

Phishing attacks often come with an attachment or link to their emails. Unfortunately, you can’t really know what’s inside it unless you click on it. Nonetheless, a seemingly harmless link or attachment can have devastating consequences on corporations.

Hence, you should always think before you click. Go over the content of the email and make sure that it is legitimate. Likewise, always scan attachments or links with your security software first before opening them.

Fight against phishing

Even with all the security software installed on your devices, phishing emails can easily slip into your inbox unnoticed. Hence, the best phishing protection is knowledge. By knowing what signs to look for, you can properly identify a phishing scam and avoid it in the future.

Investing in software like Multi-Factor Authentication can boost your protection against phishing attacks. It leverages authentication technologies such as Biometrics, PINgrid, PINphrase, and Yubikey to reduce the chances of data breaches from phishing attacks. So go ahead and check it out.

Trusted by Governments and Enterprises Worldwide

Where protecting systems and information really matters, you will find Intercede.  Whether its citizen data, aerospace and defence systems, high-value financial transactions, intellectual property or air traffic control, we are proud that many leading organisations around the world choose Intercede solutions to protect themselves against data breach, comply with regulations and ensure business continuity.