What Are Phishing Scams and What to Do to Protect Yourself from Them

What Are Phishing Scams and What to Do to Protect Yourself from Them

Last year Twitter made headlines. No, this is not related to the former president. Twitter made headlines as many prominent verified accounts were hacked. The major breach in cybersecurity occurred after many Twitter employees fell victim to sophisticated phishing attacks. This attempt resulted in the attackers getting important information about Twitter’s internal processes, allowing them to hack these accounts. 

With how tumultuous last year was, it is not a surprise that this event slipped under the surface for many people. While the attack resulted in thousands of people losing money, Twitter quickly resolved the situation. 

This incident highlighted how even a tech giant like Twitter could fall prey to phishing attacks. Phishing attacks are an increasing concern for not just companies but individuals as well. 

What is a Phishing Attack? 

Phishing is a cybersecurity attack that is surprisingly “low-tech” when compared to what people think about cybersecurity in general. It doesn’t always involve sophisticated lines of programming or algorithms. Usually, all it involves is convincing people to give up their information on their own. 

Phishing attacks use emails, SMS messages, even phone calls to lure important information out of people. They do so by usually pretending to be part of institutions or organizations that you trust. 

For example, you might receive a call from the IRS about your taxes and how they need your bank account details to settle a tax claim against you. If you give your details, the scammers on the other side will then use that information to steal your money. 

You might not even be aware of what is going on for weeks. That’s what makes phishing attacks so dangerous. 

There are many other types of phishing attacks. All of them share the standard method of luring out information and then using it to wreak havoc. You can read about the other types of phishing attacks at https://trustifi.com/types-of-phishing/

How to Prevent Phishing Attacks 

Phishing attacks can result in catastrophic financial losses, identity theft, and even implication in more serious crimes. As the number of computer users is growing, the frequency of phishing attacks is as well. 

While the oldest phishing attacks were from the early 2000s, they have increased in sophistication as well. Emails are now one of the most commons sources of phishing attempts. 

To stop yourself from falling prey to phishing attacks, you can use some common safety tips. 

Firstly, always be careful of emails from senders that you do not know. This is especially true if that email contains any attachments or hyperlinks. Never open a hyperlink before moving your cursor over the link and reading it. Often scammers use website names that look similar enough at a glance to scam people, for example, replacing an “m” with an “n.”

Conclusion 

To keep your identity and finances secured in the modern world, you need to be aware of phishing attacks. Learn to recognize the different types of phishing attacks and practice safe internet use. 

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