Phishing Attack Prevention: How to Identify & Avoid Phishing Scams

Phishing attacks happen all the time. Phishing attacks are one of the most common security challenges that both individuals and companies face in keeping their information secure.  Whether it’s getting access to passwords, credit cards, or other sensitive information, hackers are using email, social media, phone calls, and any form of communication they can to steal valuable data. Businesses, of course, are a particularly worthwhile target.

Fortunately, there are a lot of ways you can protect your website from phishing attacks before they happen. In this article, we’re going to talk about how phishing attacks work. Then we’ll discuss three ways to avoid them on your website.

various phishing techniques used by attackers:

  • Creating a copy of a real web page, in order to trick users into believing it’s the original site. Usually, this is a ploy to steal those users’ data.
  • Embedding a link in an email that redirects to an unsecure website that requests sensitive information
  • Installing a Trojan via a malicious email attachment or ad which will allow the intruder to exploit loopholes and obtain sensitive information
  • Spoofing the sender address in an email to appear as a reputable source and request sensitive information
  • Attempting to obtain company information over the phone by impersonating a known company vendor or IT department

phishing attack through Emails:

Beware of Suspicious Emails and Do not Click Suspicious Links:

  • Be very suspicious of any emails you receive from trusted entities like your bank.
  • If the email contains a link, don’t click on it.
  • Deceptive links that mimic legitimate URL addresses are common tools con artists use in phishing scams.
  • While these addresses may look official, they usually contain inconspicuous differences that redirect you to a fraudulent site.
  • Instead of clicking on the link, type in the web address of the institution into the browser to access the website.

Know the Common Phishing Language:

  • Look out for common phishing language in emails like “Verify your account.”
  • Legitimate businesses will not send you an email to ask for your login information or sensitive personal information.
  • Also, look out for emails that try to convey a sense of urgency.
  • Warnings that your account has been compromised, for example, are a common way to lure victims. Again, contact the company directly to inquire about such emails rather than using any link or other contact information provided in the email.
  • Finally, be wary of any email that does not address you directly.
  • While some phishing scams will use your name in the email, many are sent out as spam messages to thousands at a time.
  • Most legitimate businesses will use your first and/or last name in all communication.

Website Phishing Attacks:

In most cases, the attackers will create a copy of a real web page, in order to trick users into believing it’s the original site. Usually, this is a ploy to steal those users’ data.

Some of the most popular targets for phishing attacks are payment processors. If you have a PayPal account, for example, you’ve probably received phishing emails at some point that include links to a ‘fake’ PayPal:

    fake-PayPal

      It’s not usually hard to spot basic phishing attempts, particularly if you’re techno-savvy. When you’re running a website, however, you can’t count on all of your audience members to be just as vigilant. That means it’s up to you to make sure they don’t fall prey to phishing attacks that target your site.

      How to Protect Your Website from Phishing Attacks:

      Let’s discuss the most effective techniques.

      1. Update Your Passwords Often

       Ideally, no one should ever gain access to your login credentials or those of your users. In case they do, however, you can solve the problem by changing those credentials.

      A lot of people don’t go through the trouble of updating their passwords regularly. In fact, most users follow terrible security practices when it comes to passwords. This means that if there’s a leak of login credentials, the attackers may be able to use them to access various other sites and accounts.  If you’re using WordPress, for example, there are plugins that enable you to enforce regular password updates. On top of that, you also should get into the habit of changing your own passwords from time to time.  If you struggle when it comes to remembering new credentials, you can also consider using a password manager

      2. Add an SSL Certificate to Your Site

      Secure Socket Layers (SSL) certificates are a must for any website these days, no matter how small it might be. These certificates tell visitors that your website is the ‘original’, authenticated version. Plus, they also enable you to use HTTPS, which has the added benefit of encrypting your users’ data

        SSL Importance

         you can get an SSL certificate through most web hosts, and adding it to your website isn’t complicated at all. Keep in mind that there’s more than one type of SSL certificate you can use, so you’ll want to make your choice carefully.

        You may read https://tinyurl.com/ygo6vo3d for SSL importance

        3. Set Up Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

        we’d recommend enabling 2FA right away. This is especially relevant for the most sensitive accounts (i.e., access to your website, online banking portals, etc.).

          With 2FA set up, when you try to log into the website using your credentials, you’ll also be required to enter a one-time code:

            it’s a great optional tool that enables your more safety-conscious users to protect their accounts, and it will greatly mitigate the damage from any successful phishing attacks.

            Conclusion:

            Phishing attacks may be everywhere, but there are plenty of ways you can protect yourself from them. It’s important to know what steps to take since your users depend on you to keep their information safe.

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