“Fishing is a delusion entirely surrounded by liars in old clothes,” said Don Marquis, the famous American poet. And much like fishing, this similarly named type of e-threat relies on deceiving users by throwing a ‘fishing’ hook in the guise of a veiled email that is supposed to tempt the recipient into biting the bait. This could lead to clicking on or downloading an infected attachment or giving out personal information like passwords, credit card, or banking data. At this point, the information can then be utilized by cyber criminals to access sensitive accounts, often leading to financial loss and identity theft.
Now you know what this means, but how can you defend yourself against phishing? Here are a few tips to avoid this issue.
1. Have a U2F Key When You Log In
A U2F (Universal 2nd Factor) is a set of tokens or keys that enable you to connect with your browser to set per-site credentials for logging into an account. In order to authenticate the user, this piece of hardware needs a second authentication method when you log in besides your password.
This way, if you happen to log into a phishing website, then the browser will not permit you to log in with the data from the legitimate website. Hence, even if the attacker succeeds in tricking you to give out your password for a certain site, they will not able to compromise your account.
2. Use Comprehensive Antivirus Software
Many antivirus solutions offer antiphishing defense. In order to avoid this type of cyber attack, therefore, ensure you have one that contains this feature set up on your device. Most of the renowned names in internet security software offer antiphishing as part of their free antivirus tools, too.
Therefore ensure that the antivirus software that you select provides this type of protection. Generally speaking, it is based on the antivirus being able to detect and block any phishing websites so that they cannot put their hands on your personal information.
3. An Email Places Pressure on Taking Immediate Action
This is a common technique used by phishing attackers. Many times the email puts pressure on you to take immediate action by announcing that your account was closed or that there has been illegal activity taking place, requiring a rapid action.
To stay safe from phishing attacks, make a habit of not clicking on a link in an email, even if it looks truly genuine. What you should do is log into your account by visiting the original website, after which you can verify the proposed situation of your account.
4. Use Your Own Wi-Fi
When you are shopping online, filling in your personal data, or doing any type of banking transaction, make sure you never utilize public, unsecure Wi-Fi even if the website itself is secure.
The best alternative would be to use your own 3G, 4G, or even the LTE connection, which all come with much greater protection than the public Wi-Fi available, for instance, at shopping malls or airports.
5. Use a VPN
VPNs turn the internet into a much safer place. They are able to safeguard you against numerous cyber threats, including phishing.
This is because they encrypt all of the information received and sent to and from your PC, and as a result provide a secure channel for your confidential data.
Just like the poet Marquis suggests, don’t wait until you become the prey in these attackers’ phishing nets, take proactive actions to avoid this type of cyber attack. Have you been a victim of these cyber threats or do you have any opinions on the subject? Let us know on our Facebook page.