5 Everyday Habits That Will Protect You from Phishing Attacks
Today, phishing attacks are more common than ever before, partly fueled by the huge shift of businesses to online operations following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Even more worrying is the fact that cybercriminals are using phishing attacks as the gateway to launch more sophisticated attacks. The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) mentioned that this kind of cyberattack would continue posing a serious threat to both businesses and individuals for the foreseeable future.
For this reason, it is advised that you take personal initiatives to keep both you and your business from the devastation that can be brought about by cybercriminals using phishing attacks. Here are five everyday habits that will protect you from phishing attacks.
Five Strategies that will Protect you from Phishing Attacks
1. Always be on the lookout for phishing attacks.
Today, phishing attacks come in all forms and kinds – that email to renew your streaming service subscription might be a phishing attack, and so is that DM informing you that you have won a prize. Therefore, it is best that you always be on the lookout for phishing attacks to minimize your chances of falling victim. Whenever you see a file, attachment, or link on your mail or DM that you had not requested, you should avoid opening it until you can verify its origin.
Cybercriminals always pose as legitimate organizations. Make a habit of confirming the contact details of all the emails you receive from the organizations’ social media pages and customer support. You will get a quicker response from the organization if you call them rather than relying on email correspondence.
2. Avoid clicking shortened links.
Due to increased public awareness on preventing phishing attacks, most people know how to pick out suspicious links. This has forced cybercriminals to rely on more sophisticated phishing attempts, which include using shortened links. This makes it easy for them to mask their fake sites with links that look legitimate.
It would be best to avoid clicking on short links to protect yourself from phishing attacks. If you feel the urge to check out the short link, you can confirm its legitimacy by hovering your mouse pointer over it without clicking. This will reveal the real link lying underneath the shortened link.
3. Watch out for short deadlines and other subtle threats.
Most cyberattacks use short deadlines and other subtle threats to lure you into falling for their phishing attacks. They may ask you to update your information on a particular website urgently or within a specified time to avoid getting locked out. The time deadline can be short as 24 to 48 hours.
When given such short deadlines and subtle threats, the fear of getting locked out might conquer all your precautionary senses. In some cases, subtle threats are those of fines and legal proceedings. The best way forward in any of these situations is to relax and look for proper channels to contact the organization.
4. Only access websites that are HTTPS verified.
HTTPS is a security verification standard that is given to websites that meet the latest cybersecurity protocols. You can see it displayed on the address bar as HTTPS:// or by a padlock graphic. This means that the website has top-notch security protecting your crucial information like credit card details from getting intercepted by cybercriminals.
Try not to make any online purchases or share your personal details on websites that lack the HTTPS security standard. If you see any links on your mail that do not have the HTTPS standard, do not open them to protect yourself from phishing attacks. You can download a trusted antivirus software or use the one inbuilt to your device on its strictest levels to weed out websites that lack the HTTPS verification as you browse online.
5. Be extra vigilant on your overall online security.
You cannot be safe online if you are focusing your efforts only on avoiding phishing attacks. You have to be extra vigilant on your overall online security to stay clear of cybercriminals. This is why, as you watch out for phishing attacks; you also have to protect yourself from other cyberattacks.
Avoid using public Wi-Fi – incurring the extra cost of cellular internet might worthwhile if it keeps you safe. Use a stronger password for your online accounts. If you worry about forgetting your passwords because they are long, you can write them down in your notepad. Additionally, embrace two-factor authentication for logging into your accounts.
We hope this blog has provided you with the information you need when it comes to protecting your users from phishing attacks.
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