Phishing attacks are a huge problem for businesses and individuals alike. These attacks can come in many different forms, but they all have one goal: to steal your sensitive information.
Additionally, phishing attacks can completely destroy your business in a matter of minutes, so it’s critical that you and your employees understand how to prevent phishing attacks in order to stay secure. This blog post will review types of popular phishing attacks as well as prevention methods.
One of the most common types of phishing attacks is email phishing. This attack occurs when a malicious actor sends an email that looks like it’s from a legitimate source, in an attempt to get you to click on a link or attachment. This link or attachment will usually take you to a fake website that looks real, but is actually a phishing site designed to steal your information.
Email phishing attacks can be difficult to spot, because the emails often look real. Here are some tips on how to prevent phishing attacks:
- Spelling and grammar mistakes
- A sense of urgency or fear (e.g., “Your account will be suspended unless you take action now!”)
- Links that don’t look quite right (e.g., hxxp:// instead of htttps://)
If you receive an email that looks suspicious, do not click on any links or attachments. Instead, go to the website directly by typing in the URL yourself. If you’re still not sure, you can always contact the company to confirm that the email is legitimate.
Spear phishing is a type of email phishing attack that is targeted at a specific individual or organization. These attacks are much more sophisticated than regular email phishing attacks, because they use personal information to make the email look more legitimate. For example, a spear phishing email might include your name, address, and other personal details.
When whaling attacks are successful, they can cause serious damage to an organization because the victim typically has access to a wide range of data compared to lower level employees.
HTTPS fishing is a type of email phishing attack that uses a fake version of a website that looks identical to the real website. The only difference is that the fake website uses an unsecured connection (i.e., it doesn’t have the “s” in “HTTPS”). This means that if you enter your sensitive information on the fake website, the attacker will be able to see it.
Pharming is a type of attack that redirects you from a legitimate website to a fake website without your knowledge. This can happen when an attacker changes the DNS records for a website, or if they infect your computer with malware that redirects you to a fake site.
Clone phishing is a type of email phishing attack where the attacker uses an old, legitimate email as a template to create a new email that looks identical to the original. The only difference is that the new email has a different, malicious attachment or link.
Social engineering is a type of attack where the attacker uses psychological tricks to get you to do what they want. For example, an attacker might call you on the phone and pretend to be from your bank. They would then try to get you to give them your account number or other sensitive information.
Here’s how to prevent phishing attacks:
- Be aware of the signs of a phishing email (e.g., spelling and grammar mistakes, sense of urgency, suspicious links)
- Do not click on any links or attachments in a suspicious email
- Go to the website directly by typing in the URL yourself
- Install anti-phishing software on your computer
- Be cautious of unsolicited emails, phone calls, or text messages from people you don’t know
- Educate yourself and employees on identification and prevention methods
- Partner with IT professionals to further protect your data and IT systems.