What is Phishing and how to Protect from it?

Author - ISA (Comstar) | Sep 20 2019 05:00

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“It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.”-Albert Einstein

A revolutionary advancement in technology in the twenty first century has made a remarkable influence in communication, entertainment, education, sports, food and in almost every aspect of our lives. The way we think, talk, interact, act, rest, eat, sleep and commute—all of it has dramatically changed. Then come the channels through which these services are given to us. For instance, we communicate through phones and social media, read online newspapers, and commute using mobile apps. This all falls under the contours of modern businesses. 

Companies having a digital presence has become a norm because of the complexity of modern businesses. Therefore, on the flip side, technological revolution makes concerns about privacy, blackmailing, data hacking and online security more relevant than ever. Not just individuals but business organizations are also deeply concerned about “technology exceeding humanity”.

Phishing is one of the significant ways in terms of online illegal behavior. It is a cybercrime in which targets are achieved through emails, telephones, text or voice messages, pop-ups, and fake search results. Individuals are lured to open certain online links. Emails or messages usually appear to come from well-known organizations. They ask you to enter personal information before going further. Eventually, people end up sharing access to their personal data such as family information, banking card details, passwords or other sensitive information. 

Components of Phishing:

  • There are four key components of phishing: 
  • Generic Greeting (they do not address the call/email recipient directly). 
  • Forged Links (usually email content and the given link do not match).
  • Request Personal Information (why provide personal information when you have not asked for any services).
  • Sense of Urgency (you are tempted to act fast).
  • Protection from Phishing

Following are some of the key methods to be wary of phishing:

  • Suspicious or malicious links must not be clicked. Instead, go to a web browser and explore websites of given links.
  • Look for misspelled emails or faulty domains. 
  • For voice scams, do not give personal information to unknown phone calls. It is called voice phishing. It is the voice version of email phishing. 
  • For pop-ups, do not open unknown ads or small graphics on your screen. Look for poor grammar and wrong spellings. 
  • For fake searches, concentrate on the given URLs. Use “Norton Safe Search” to check whether the URLs are safe. 
  • Most importantly, change your passwords and do not use the same passwords for all accounts. 
  • All password-protected devices and applications must be updated. 
  • Run regular scans on your devices.

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