What is Phishing Attack? How it Works & How to Prevent Yourself?

Have you ever had an email from your ‘bank’ stating that your checking account would be frozen unless you verify your personal information? They may have put a link in the email for you to visit. What if you pressed the button? You may have arrived at a website that requested personal information such as your bank account details and Social Security number.

Your bank never sends these emails. Instead, they’re a form of Phishing, a scamming method used by fraudsters to compromise your security.

phishing attack

What is a Phishing Attack?

A phishing attack is a cybercrime where an attacker uses email or other forms of communication to impersonate a legitimate entity or person. Attackers frequently use phishing emails to transmit malicious links or files that conduct various tasks. Some will steal victims’ login passwords or account information.

What is the ultimate goal, regardless of the method used by scammers? They seek your personal information to access your bank accounts and credit cards. They’ll also send plenty of bogus emails and SMS messages worldwide to dupe enough people into handing up their personal information. Some fraudulent emails or texts may appear unprofessional, with poor grammar or requests to click on links with strange-looking URLs.

Phishers, on the other hand, don’t have to be complex. These malicious hackers work in large groups and only need to deceive a few people into considering their operation a success.

How Phishing Works

How can you avoid being one of these unfortunate victims? It’s all about learning to spot phishing scams and vowing never to click on links in a text or email purporting to be from a bank, credit card company, or other well-known firms. That’s not even counting the phishing emails that make it through your spam filter. The phisher starts by determining their intended victims (whether at an organizational or individual level) and devising data collection tactics.

Next, the phisher will devise techniques to transmit messages to their victims, such as bogus emails or false websites. Phishers then send victims messages that look to be legitimate, and the attack begins. Phishers will watch and gather data that victims supply on the bogus websites once the assault has been launched.

Finally, phishers utilize their gathered information to make illicit purchases or commit fraud. When defining Phishing, remember that not all attempts look and work the same. If you click on it, a malicious link can have disastrous consequences for you, your business, and your network. It’s critical to understand the repercussions of Phishing. It allows access to confidential messages, images, and contact lists for individuals. Cyber fraudsters can also obtain access to your finances, resulting in unlawful transactions, fraud, and identity theft.

On the other hand, most advanced cybercriminals are set on a larger target, such as a corporate or government institution. Phishing attacks on individuals are used to acquire access to a broader network.

If an employee is duped into clicking a link, malware can be installed on the company’s network, allowing unauthorized access to critical information.

How to Safeguard Yourself from Phishing

Even if phishing emails appear in your inbox, you may avoid clicking on them. You can reduce the likelihood that your attacker’s scheme will succeed if you understand how to recognize a phishing assault when you see one.

Phishing assaults are impossible to prevent, but antivirus software can reduce the likelihood of reaching your mailbox. Antivirus software examines your mailbox for known malware and removes it automatically. Many users of Mac also can be treated. Mac is safer system than Windows, but it do not mean that there are no risk. You can download antivirus to protect your Mac at all times. Remember to update you system (Mac, Linux or Windows) every time. It can help to avoid a problem with security.

You should let your employees grasp how Phishing occurs and how their actions contribute to the attack’s cause or prevention. Employees should learn to scrutinize incoming emails and communications, check for embedded links that lead to a reputable organization’s official domain, and scan any files for malware attacks before downloading.

Limit your employees’ capacity to install new software’s or download large files. Employees should be well-informed about corporate policies involving financial activities. A human should confirm any financial transactions sought by email over the phone or in person. It will prevent employees from sending money to a fake source.

Crucial emails containing payment information, personal information, or other sensitive data should be encrypted. It keeps the passwords and key access restrictions needed to see these emails private within the firm and out of reach of hacked accounts.

Final Remarks

Phishing is hazardous in general hence everyone should be on the lookout for it because it may happen to anyone, and it can be costly. As a result, be cautious, and observe the cautionary measures in this article to safeguard yourself.

Posted by
Dharmesh Donda

iStaunch is written by Dharmesh Donda, an avid Internet geek, IT professional since 2012. Have been in IT industry for more than a decade, and currently doing management and consulting work have taken a plunge into entrepreneurship.

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