It has never been easier to become a victim of a carefully thought out phishing scam online. Of course, no one wants to face this kind of an experience because it brings along nothing but trouble. Headaches and lost files will be the least of your problems if you find yourself stuck in a phishing scam. What you will have to worry about are financial losses and the greater consequences of losing confidential company data.
Phishing scams have been around for a while and it doesn’t seem like the trend is about to drop any time soon. Hackers make plenty of profits through these little schemes and they will continue to use people’s ignorance for as long as they can. If you are not familiar with the basics of phishing scams, here’s the simplest explanation: phishing is a term used for a specific type of online scams where the hackers present themselves as legitimate brands, figures of authority, or even your family members.
They usually send links to special offers, insane discounts, or subscription and login pages in hopes that users will fall for the false story. Those who fall for the scam end up following the malicious link that either leads to an unauthorized download of viruses or simply prompts you to enter your data (which is even worse). Hackers can use this data for different malicious purposes, from identity theft to robbery. If that sounds scary enough, keep reading to learn how you can avoid phishing scams!
#1 Keep Informing Yourself
Learning as much as you can about phishing scams will help you stay away from potential threats. Even though phishing is one of the oldest kinds of scams out there, hackers keep inventing new and more sophisticated twists to trick the users. Keeping up with your reading will help you stay up to date on recent events and types of scams you should be careful about. While you’re at it, make sure your family members and employees do the same!
#2 Think Before Clicking on Links
We are often busy and don’t have time to think about every move we make online. Hackers take advantage of human error, which is why their phishing scams are so successful. However, you can reduce the chances of becoming the next phishing victim simply by being more aware of what you click on. Before you click on a link, consider where it came from, whom is it from, is the source reliable, and whether the link itself looks alright. If you notice anything suspicious, stay away from it!
#3 Use an Anti-Phishing Toolbar
One of the simplest solutions is to install an anti-phishing toolbar. There are plenty of free plugins and extensions that allow you to customize your browser and further secure your data online. The toolbar will add another layer of protection and notify you when you come across suspicious websites.
#4 Keep Your Browser Up to Date
Updating your browser regularly is the simplest step you should take to reduce the chances of falling for a phishing scam. Hackers usually take advantage of security loopholes in internet browsers but, luckily, companies take care of these problems by offering security fixes through updates. Skipping updates will leave your device vulnerable to all sorts of cybersecurity attacks.
#5 Follow the NIST Framework
Last but not least, learn more about the NIST framework and start implementing its safety measures as soon as possible. NIST measures will not only help you stay away from phishing scams but they will also improve your overall cybersecurity, thus protecting you from all sorts of security breaches.
Phishing scams are perhaps one of the easiest and simplest methods hackers use to get their hands-on people’s data. To reduce the chances of being the next phishing victim, make sure to follow the steps we listed above and comply to the NIST framework for extra security!