How To Protect Yourself From Phishing Attacks

Phishing is a deceptive method of electronic espionage used to obtain usernames, passwords, email addresses and other sensitive information. Popular tactics include emails designed to appear as if they are from your email provider, bank, insurance company, mortgage company, etc. often claiming that you need to update information such as billing and login information. A common theme in the body of phishing emails is a message with sense of urgency which is “alerting” the victim to impending fraudulent activity on their account if no action is taken. Following this message is a link to a phishing site in the form of clickable text or a trusted business logo which is also clickable. These links direct the victim to a phishing website which is designed to mimic the bank, company or organization the architect of the phishing email is attempting to gain access to.

Popular Examples of Phishing

amazon phishing email example
example of a phishing email

Target, Apple, Home Depot, DNC are well known victims of large data breaches caused by phishing. However, individuals are the most frequent victims with over a hundred thousand phishing attempts on a monthly basis.

Detecting Phishing Emails

The best form of protection against a phishing attempt is to avoid clicking any links or manually visiting any websites displayed in a phishing email. Using the examples above, train yourself and your family to spot phishing emails and quarantine them.

Business staff should receive similar training from their IT department. IT administrators can also create global email system rules which will automatically classify and quarantine popular phishing email schemes.

Further Best Practices

Always keep your operating system, internet browser and browser plugins up to date. Installing an anti-virus program such as McAfee which has built in email protection will further bolster your defenses against phishing attacks.

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