Phishing attacks have been around since 1995 when scammers would pose as AOL employees and request a user’s billing information through instant messages. Today’s email phishing attacks trick users into handing over personal information of all kinds. Let’s look at a few ways to identifying phishing attempts.
A phishing email needs to be convincing. Over time, phishing attempts have grown more elaborate and detailed, so you really need to pay attention to spot them. First, check any URLs in the message.
Phishing attempts usually depend on the user to click a URL link. The link looks innocent; it could say something like “save the puppies,” with a link that goes straight to malware or a malicious website that will steal your credentials.
How to Avoid Being Phished
Be aware of the warning signs of a phishing email. Ask yourself, does this email make sense? Who is the supposed sender? Does this sender usually send you this kind of email? Does it match the URL associated with the sender’s email?
If it doesn’t, you may be the target of a phishing email. Whatever you do, DO NOT CLICK THE LINK, which could infect your system. Instead, simply hover your cursor over it. The associated URL will appear. If the URL isn’t going to the domain you expect it to, avoid it. Look carefully; the domain could be very similar! For example, if an email that looks like it is from PayPal wants you to go to payypal.com and confirm your username and password, it’s a scam and you’ll be giving your credentials to hackers.
Quikteks Tech Support can arm you against similar threats through our preventative monitoring services and educational resources. Call us at (973) 882-4644 to learn more.