Beware The Bait: Understanding And Defending Against Phishing Cyberattacks

Cyberattacks like phishing are a growing threat in today’s digital world and can result in significant financial and reputational damage to individuals and organizations. Individuals and organizations can significantly reduce their vulnerability to such attacks by understanding the risks and taking proactive measures to protect themselves.

You can always report malicious activities online at FraudTrac; nevertheless, it’s important to know what kinds of attacks there are and what you can do about them. Here’s what you need to know about phishing cyberattacks and how to defend against them.

What is Phishing?

Phishing is a cyberattack in which an attacker impersonates another person or entity to lure individuals into providing sensitive information. A phishing attack aims to trick the victim into divulging personal information such as login credentials, credit card numbers, and social security numbers. Phishing cyberattacks can occur through email, text messages, phone calls, or social media and are quite common. There was an estimated loss of $4.35 million in 2022 due to phishing attacks.

Identifying a Phishing Attack

You should always report scams online, but phishing cyberattacks can be sophisticated and difficult to identify. Here are a few red flags that can indicate a phishing attempt:

  1. The sender of the email, text message, or social media message may be an unknown or unfamiliar entity, or the sender’s email address may be different from what you would expect from a reputable company.
  2. The message may create a sense of urgency, asking you to take immediate action, such as clicking on a link or providing sensitive information.
  3. The message may contain a link to a fake website that looks like the legitimate website of a reputable company. The link may also contain a misspelling or a variation of the real company’s URL.
  4. The message may contain poor grammar or spelling mistakes, indicating that the sender is not a native English speaker.

multiple emails displayed on the icon

Defending Against Phishing Attacks

The following steps can help you defend against phishing attacks:

  1. Verify the sender of the message by checking the email address or phone number. Do not respond to the message if the sender is unfamiliar or the email address doesn’t look legitimate.
  2. Do not click on links in messages from unknown or unfamiliar senders. If you are unsure about a link, hover over it to see the URL. Do not click on the link if the URL differs from what you would expect from a reputable company.
  3. Use two-factor authentication whenever possible to protect your accounts. Two-factor authentication requires an additional step beyond a password to access an account, such as a fingerprint or a code sent to your phone.
  4. Educate yourself on the latest phishing cyberattack techniques and how to identify them. Most companies and organizations have resources to help you learn how to protect yourself against phishing attacks.

If you want to report scams online or file complaints about cyber-attacks, FraudTrac can help. We have an online cyber-attack tracker where you can file a complaint and track the progress of your complaint.

What are you waiting for? Get in touch with us today to report malicious activities and cyber-attacks that should never be ignored!

 

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