Phishing Attacks happen all the time. Phishing Attack is 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. Phishing scams have been around practically since the inception of the Internet, and they will not go away any time soon. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways you can identify and avoid your website from phishing threats before they happen. In this article, we’re going to talk about how phishing attacks work. Then we’ll discuss three ways to prevent them from your website.
Types of Phishing Attacks
Some specific types of phishing scams use more targeted methods to attack certain individuals or organizations.
Spear phishing email messages won’t look as random as more general phishing attempts. Attackers will often gather information about their targets to fill emails with more authentic context. Some attackers even hijack business email communications and create highly customized messages.
Attackers are able to view legitimate, previously delivered email messages, make a nearly identical copy of it—or “clone”—and then change an attachment or link to something malicious.
Whaling specifically targets high profile and/or senior executives in an organization. The content of a whaling attempt will often present as a legal communication or other high-level executive business.
various phishing attack 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:
How can you identify a phishing email?
When you receive a phishing email, there’ll be some signs that distinguish it from a genuine one. They are:
Beware of Suspicious Emails and Do not Click Suspicious Links:
● Spelling and grammar mistakes
● Suspicious links and attachments
● A generic greeting
● Requests for you to log into your account (either as confirmation or to stop deactivation)
● 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 Attack:
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:
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 Attack:
Let’s discuss the most effective techniques to identify and prevent it.
Think Before You Click –
It’s fine to click on links when you’re on trusted sites. Clicking on links that appear in random emails and instant messages, however, isn’t such a smart move. Hover over links that you are unsure of before clicking on them. Do they lead where they are supposed to lead? A phishing email may claim to be from a legitimate company and when you click the link to the website, it may look exactly like the real website. The email may ask you to fill in the information but the email may not contain your name. Most phishing emails will start with “Dear Customer” so you should be alert when you come across these emails. When in doubt, go directly to the source rather than clicking a potentially dangerous link.
Install an Anti-Phishing Toolbar –
Most popular Internet browsers can be customized with anti-phishing toolbars. Such toolbars run quick checks on the sites that you are visiting and compare them to lists of known phishing sites. If you stumble upon a malicious site, the toolbar will alert you about it. This is just one more layer of protection against phishing scams, and it is completely free.
Keep Your Browser Up to Date –
Security patches are released for popular browsers all the time. They are released in response to the security loopholes that phishers and other hackers inevitably discover and exploit. If you typically ignore messages about updating your browsers, stop. The minute an update is available, download and install it.
Be Wary of Pop-Ups –
Pop-up windows often masquerade as legitimate components of a website. All too often, though, they are phishing attempts. Many popular browsers allow you to block pop-ups; you can allow them on a case-by-case basis. If one manages to slip through the cracks, don’t click on the “cancel” button; such buttons often lead to phishing sites. Instead, click the small “x” in the upper corner of the window.
Get free anti-phishing add-ons
Most browsers nowadays will enable you to download add-ons that spot the signs of a malicious website or alert you about known phishing sites. They are usually completely free so there’s no reason not to have this installed on every device in your organization.
Use Antivirus Software –
There are plenty of reasons to use antivirus software. Special signatures that are included with antivirus software guard against known technology workarounds and loopholes. Just be sure to keep your software up to date. New definitions are added all the time because new scams are also being dreamed up all the time. Anti-spyware and firewall settings should be used to prevent phishing attacks and users should update the programs regularly. Firewall protection prevents access to malicious files by blocking the attacks. Antivirus software scans every file which comes through the Internet to your computer. It helps to prevent damage to your system.
You don’t have to live in fear of phishing scams. By keeping the preceding tips in mind, you should be able to enjoy a worry-free online experience.
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
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.
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.