WHAT IS PHISHING & HOW TO PREVENT IT?
Phishing sounds like fishing right? Yes, there could be a spelling difference but the meaning is the same. In fishing, we bait to catch fish & in phishing some ill-minded people plan to harm us through bait in terms of false proposals!
Phishing is one technique used by the cybercriminals to deceive a user. It comes in the form of an e-mail or a message on the social platform sites. By clicking & following the link or instructions, users make sure that they are trapped! The proposal or link sent in the e-mail or the message is never true! The cyber criminals want to get the following things from a user:
- Personal information
- Financial information
The link attached with the message will ultimately fetch nothing & by the time the information will be hacked! So, how to identify a phishing attempt? Here are some signals to identify a phishing attempt:
How to identify phishing
A fishy email
It comes in the form of an email mostly. So, when your inbox will receive an email that has come from a person with a link or a proposal who could easily call you through mobile phone about the mail is the first signal you should get about the authenticity of the email. Just ask your mind, does it sound real? If you are confused about the intention of the email you have received, then make a call to the person who sent it to check the reality if the mail comes from a known person.
Such emails come with artificial salutation or addressing style, like – “Dear Respondent” which would not happen naturally if it is a mail from a known person as that person would address you in different way by the code of conduct shared between you. So, the addressing says a lot about the attempt of phishing.
There will be some kind of wrong spelling in the email which should strike a doubt in your mind. For example, if your friend’s name is Redwan Shikdar, in the email there will be “Ridwan Sikdar”. Observing this pattern, you should get an idea about phishing.
Just a link
Sometimes, a mail comes from a known person where in the body there is just a link & nothing else! This is another signal for you to understand that this might not be a true or honest email. You are advised never to click on the link.
You have won it
A mail with an announcement that you are the lucky winner of some random process or you have earned a prize of a contest you participated long ago that you already have forgotten is an attempt to frame you! The hacker is trying to make you happy enough to click on the link they have sent you!
Such email is sent by a person, who pretends to be someone else, mostly acts to be of something sophisticated. Some attractive name & address will be used to allure you. You must be aware of this technique to safeguard yourself.
So, how to be safe & secure from phishing? Here are some suggestions:
Ways to prevent phishing
The first technique is to be rational about the process of work environment you are in. is there any possibility of winning something? Does my friend or an organization want me to agree on something that they could easily tell me through a conversation?
Before opening the email, make a call to the sender if it is from your contact list. Cross check the information, this will save you big-time. Every time there is a fishy mail from a known person, it is suggested to make a call to that person directly to be sure of the fact of the mail sent.
Your browser should be enabled with add-ons that will block any unnecessary pop-up windows. This will help you a lot.
The fishy mails should be reported as “spam” right away. This will save you & you will be relieved of the same kind of emails from that sender.
Don’t be curious
Don’t be curious about such emails or attachments or links that are sent along with. If you think, let me see what is inside, and then you get trapped. With attractive visuals & texts, your system will be hacked & you will curse your curiosity. Anti-phishing software
Use anti-phishing software to neutralize the harmful effect of the content to be sent. Such software identifies suspicious emails & try to stop their attempt. Installing such software is a good option.
Keeping personal details private
Many popular & widely used social sites have the option to record details & we like to share all sorts of details there which are never to do! In a site with mass people, it is not possible to understand the desire of every person. So it is wise to not share personal information on sites that are crowded with all kinds of people. If you need to share any, make sure the site has a valid SSL Certificate installed.
So, phishing is a technique that some evil-minded people use to collect your personal & private information by framing you. These messages or proposals in the form of emails come in attractive words & offers to make you trapped! Never become victims to these baits & use anti-phishing software, add-ons on your browser to avoid it. You can save yourself by being rational in the first place when you receive such emails. The simple step to save you is to verify the email with the sender by making a call directly after seeing such an email.
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Author: – Abu Md. Abdullah