What Is Phishing? How to Protect Yourself From It?

Have you ever received an email from your bogus email id asking you to change your login credentials like password or answer to a security question?

Well, most people just ignore such attempts to hack into their bank accounts. But did you know that “76% of businesses reported being a victim of a phishing attack in the last year?” By the way, businesses are more likely to be attacked as they have to make their contact details public.

The above-mentioned verified stat comes from a source called Retruster. This website also informs us that 15% of people who are successfully phished get attacked again in the future. So, there is no escaping once you accidentally reply to one of these fake emails. Interestingly, this technique is known as phishing.

Also, read The Ultimate Guide To Cybersecurity

What Is Phishing? 

Phishing is an attempt to capture sensitive information like username or password of a person browsing the internet. Usually, the attacker formulates an authentic-looking email which is then sent to an email address collected by unethical means. The email looks something similar to the one shown in the image below.

There plenty of websites out there whose sole business runs on selling your email addresses and phone numbers to hackers located in remote areas. Just a note, do not submit your email address or provide your phone number to an unverified and shady looking website.

Usually, the user who clicks on a link provided in the email body is diverted to a shady website with the domain name similar to the bank they have an account in. The whole idea is to create panic and confusion in the mind of a victim. 

Imagine receiving an email from your bank informing you about a potential attack on your bank account? Would you open another tab on the browser, type in the bank domain name and login or merely click on the link provided in the email itself. You are more likely to click on the fraudulent link.

How Do I Protect Myself From Becoming a Victim of a Phishing Attack?

The quick and easy solution would be to install anti-phishing software on your computer. anti-phishing software contains algorithms that are capable of detecting a fraudulent email from your inbox. Generally, anti-phishing software is available in the form of a browser extension. You can also install one on your phone. 

However, in my opinion, it is better to train your mind to detect such attempts rather than depending on the software. This is how you can do it: Head to websites like FraudWatch International and go through every alert that they publish in the Alerts section. Read carefully how the attacker manages to weasel into your email inbox and retrieve sensitive information from under your nose.

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