In recent times, online frauds and scams have gained considerable leverage owing to the advent of digitisation in every sphere of life. Among these, phishing is one of the methods of distributing malware, executing fraudulent activities and stealing credentials,that has increased rapidly. Fraudsters are staging, hiding their phishing sites and building tactics to remain hidden. In 2020, it was observed that phishing incidents have jumped to 220% as compared to the previous years’ average.
Apart from website phishing and e-mail phishing attacks, there are also smishing, spamming, spoofing and online scams. In fact, security controls and user training are failing to fight against all of these. It is, thus, advisable that individuals learn about the different types of phishing and the techniques to avoid them.
What is phishing and its types?
According to recent stats, 91% of information security violation happens through some kind of phishing. These are some of the most common types of phishing prevalent –
- Spear phishing
- E-mail phishing
- Search engine phishing
5 Ways to determine phishing e-mails
Individuals can safeguard themselves from phishing scams by looking for these following types of e-mails –
- Profitable offers and noticeable statements are specially designed to grab people’s attention. Phishing e-mails present offers like ‘winning an iPhone, lottery, etc.’ to lure in customers.
- One of the most common cybercriminals tactics is that they ask users to act fast by saying that the deals are only available for a limited period of time. Sometimes, they even communicate users that their account will be suspended unless they provide their personal details. If individuals come across such e-mails, they should report them immediately.
- Some hyperlinks may not be the same as they look. The link can show something to the users, and when they click it, they are re-directed to some other fake website.
- If users get an e-mail attachment, that does not serve users’ purpose; it is better to avoid them. It might contain ransomware, payloads or other viruses that capture essential information like credit card details, account numbers, login credentials etc.
- If any message or e-mail looks like it is from someone you do not know, or any unexpected, suspicious thing appears on the screen, it is best not to click on it.
Apart from phishing, individuals must also be on guard about other types of frauds. Among them, the most common are credit and debit card scams.
Individuals can face such incidents if they misplace their wallet. To avoid such mishap, a Wallet Care policy offered by Bajaj Finserv under its Pocket Insurance & Subscriptions could be effective. This insurance plan allows individuals to block all credit and debit cards with one call, in case of theft or loss of wallet.
How to prevent phishing attacks?
Now that the meaning of phishing is apparent, it is crucial for individuals to learn the measures to prevent these attacks –
- If users want to protect their account from spam e-mails, they can use filters. These filters determine all the information of the spam e-mail.
- The settings of browsers can be changed to block fraudulent websites. In case anyone tries to access these websites, an alert message appears on the screen.
- Individuals can report to industry groups about phishing activities where legal actions can be taken against these fraudulent activities
- Individuals must change their browsing habits to avoid phishing scams. They must be careful to enter confidential information only after verifying the website.
Individuals can also protect themselves from financial losses incurred from identity theft by availing an identity theft protection cover that offers reimbursement for financial losses incurred. Individuals can also avail such similar insurance policies like handbag assure that ensures the safety of individual’s priced possessions.
With such insurance policies in place and increased awareness about these scams, one can effectively put an end to frauds like phishing.