How to Prevent a Phishing Attack Before It's too Late

Super-smart cybercriminals make phishing emails very difficult to detect. Once you take the bait, these scammers use your personal information to create fake accounts in your name, ruin your credit, and steal your money and identity.

May 15, 2020 | 2 min read

Phishing Form with username and password and fish swimming around it.

Email phishing scams are conducted by tech-savvy con artists and identity theft criminals. They use spam and fake websites constructed to look identical to real sites, email and instant messages to trick you into divulging sensitive information, such as bank account passwords and credit card numbers.

Once you take the bait, these scammers use your personal information to create fake accounts in your name, ruin your credit, and steal your money and identity.

phishing characteristics

41% of IT pros report AT LEAST DAILY phishing attacks.

 

Phishing is big business for cyber crooks. With 89% of phishing attacks orchestrated by professional cyber crime organizations, it’s essential to stay ahead of the game.

Super-smart cybercriminals make phishing emails very hard to spot. Here’s a scary statistic: phishing emails have six times the click-through rate of genuine marketing emails. Can you tell the difference between genuine and phishing emails?

 

Don't Take the Bait

If you’ve responded to a phishing scam, the attacker can possibly: 

  1. Hijack Your Usernames & Passwords

  2. Open Credit Card & Bank Accounts in Your Name

  3. Request New Account Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) or Additional Credit Cards

  4. Make Purchases

  5. Add Themselves as an Authorized User on Your Accounts

  6. Obtain Cash Advances

  7. Use Your Social Security Number

  8. Sell Your information For Illegal Purposes

How Did a Phishing Scam Find Me?

This style of identity theft is extremely widespread because of the ease with which unsuspecting people share personal information. Phishing scams often lure you with spam email and instant messages requesting you to verify your account or confirm your billing address through what is actually a malicious Web site. Be very cautious. Phishers can only find you if you respond.

 

How Do I Know I've Been Phished?

Phishers often pretend to be legitimate companies. Their messages may sound genuine and their sites can seem like the real thing. It can be difficult to tell the difference, but you might have encountered a phisher if you see the following:

  1. Email Requests of Text Message Requests for Confidential Information 

  2. Emotional Language Using Scare Tactics For an immediate Response

  3. Misspelled URLs, Spelling Mistakes, or Sub-Domain Usage

  4. Links Within the Message's Body Text

  5. Lack of a personalized greeting or message. 

 

How Can I Protect Myself?

When you arm yourself with information and resources, you're wiser about computer security threats and less vulnerable to phishing scams. Take these steps to fortify your computer security and immediately improve your phishing protection:

  1. Do not provide personal information to any unsolicited requests for information.

  2. Only provide personal information on sites that have https in the web address or have a lock icon at bottom of the browser.

  3. If you suspect phishing bait, call the company that is the subject of the email to check its legitimacy.

  4. Type in a trusted URL into your browser's address bar to bypass a link in a suspected phishing message.

  5. Use Varied & Complex Passwords for Your Accounts 

  6. Continually check any Personal Accounts & Amend Discrepancies

  7. Avoid Questionable Websites

  8. Practice Safe Email Protocol:

    • • Don't open messages from unknown senders.
    • • Immediately Delete Suspicious Messages

Make sure you install the best security software products on your PC such as anti-virus software and anti-spyware software protection.

 

An unprotected computer is like an open door for email phishing scams.

Schedule time with a Security Consultant to discuss best security options.

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