Are you clever enough to recognize a phishing attempt? Cyber-crooks these days are getting smarter and better to make you clueless about any possible threats and pay a hefty price for the same. As per latest investigation, 30% of phishing e-mails get opened due to which the objective of the sender just works.
Phishing gets successful because cyber criminals camouflage their bait as legitimate emails and easily convince the potential victims to reveal their username and password. However, there are ways to identify phishing emails.
1. Expect the unexpected
There is a say, “It’s better to be safe than sorry “. According to a research report of 2016, it has been seen that the most successful phishing attacks happened in those scenarios when the victim was expecting any important e-mail and it drops in the disguise of a fake one. It is always wise to scrutinize any and every email received from an unknown sender. It becomes too risky to download any attachment or click on any suspicious link which can add to the wooes. It’s probably a phishing attempt.
2. Check the sender name
Any email received from any unknown sender asking to click any specific link or login to any particular website, then its better to be cautious. Sometimes, the user asks for PIN number or social security number. Any legitimate company would never ask for such sensitive information via email, they already have that information in their database. Thus similar e-mails are huge bluffs.
3. Never click on unknown links
Normally, phishing e-mails try to convince you to provide your username and password, so that the cyber criminals can gain access to the victims’ account details. From there, they can siphon off your bank balance or make illegal charges on your credit/ debit cards, steal data, or even lock your account under mysterious circumstances.
Often, these criminals include embedded URLs that take the victim to another site. Apparently, these URLs look genuine, but if the cursor is taken over the URL, the actual hyperlink can be seen. If that is different than what is displayed might be a phishing attempt and the receiver should refrain from clicking the same. On an average, the users simply see the name or business URL and presume the legitimacy of the sender and become a victim of phishing.
4. Wrong spelling / grammar
It is highly unusual that any official corporate e-mail would go to its customers’ inbox with several spelling and grammar errors. If there is any email riddled with such errors, there is high possibility that it’s a scam.
5. Threatening message
Messages like “Urgent action required!” or “Your card is blocked!” or even “Your account has been compromised!” are some generic tactics of the cyber crooks who try to take advantage of the anxiety of the victim to extract sensitive personal information. To be rest assured, the safest solution is to call the bank/ financial bodies to confirm if anything similar is required or has happened.
Evolution of Phishing continues
According to eScan, phishing scammers are constantly coming up with new fooling tactics and their methods are turning more sneaky and perplexing. Thus, full user awareness is the strongest weapon to stay away from such miscreants. If anything drops in the inbox which is slightest different from the usual, should be cross checked before proceeding further.