As mentioned in Phishing Part 1: On the Lookout, phishing attacks have been around for years, but today’s cybercriminals are adept at using them in an ever-increasing variety of ways to get what they want. According to the most recent FBI figures, phishing and its variants was the third most popular cybercrime type in 2017, representing nearly $30m in victim losses.
The bad guys want your personal information to commit ID theft, or else they need you to click on a malicious link/open a malware-laden attachment to hijack your bank account, lock your PC with ransomware, bombard your screen with ads and more. So how do you fight back?
The answer lies with a combination of technology and user awareness. There are tools you can use to filter a great volume of phishing attempts, but a few will always sneak through, and it only takes one misplaced click to land yourself in trouble. That’s why the frontline in the war on phishing messages ultimately lies with improved user awareness.
Don’t get caught out
So, what should users look out for? As we’ve seen, phishing messages come in a variety of flavors, but here’s a typical email scam Trend Micro has highlighted in its News Center, in this case purporting to come from the IRS:
Tell-tale signs of a scam:
How do I stay safe?
Bearing the above in mind, here are a few things you can do to avoid being scammed:
What anti-phishing tools can you use?
As mentioned, security technology is also your friend when it comes to fighting the phishers. Here are some options:
We’re all exposed to phishing attacks on a near daily basis, whether at work, out and about, or at home. But armed with an understanding of what to look out for and the right tools in place, you can keep your data under lock and key, and your identity and finances safe from harm.