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How to Recognize and Avoid Phishing

by Roveen

With the tech advancement exploding right in front of our eyes, cases of cyber threats are rising and will keep rising – as more tech is introduced, so do scammers update their methods. Phishing is one of the most dangerous cyber threats out there. Phishing is when scammers use emails or messaging similar to those of reputable companies to trick you into sharing personal information, such as passwords or credit card numbers or even wire them money. With the rise in AI technology, phishing can now even involve voice cloning.

So, how do you prevent falling into this trap?

Cross-check before you click

The first thing you want to do is to cross-check links that come your way. This is especially crucial when you get random emails or instant messages. Hover your cursor over the link to see if it leads to where it says. On the phone, long press on the link and then check the URL. If you feel suspicious, reach out to the company on social media or any other avenue to confirm that the email is true. If confirmed not true, manually block the sender without clicking the link. There are sites you can also use to check links.

Employ common sense

Now, when you get an email from your bank or major institution, it is important to ask yourself whether the information they are asking is normal for your bank to ask. Normally, banks or any other institutions will never ask for your passwords, pin or any other deeply personal information. Any sensitive information or confidential entries that your bank needs will often require you to visit the bank so don’t share sensitive data online or on phone. However, banks or any other company will still never ask for passwords or pin numbers, remember that.

Use antivirus software

Antivirus isn’t just to protect your devices from viruses. These programs, such as Kaspersky or Norton will often come with anti-spyware and firewall settings which you should use to prevent phishing attacks. And ensure you update these programs regularly.

Be wary of alarming messages

If there ever is any emergency with your bank account or any other issues with a company you use, they will often call you. Most companies will never send alarming messages full of exclamation marks and random capitalization and coloration. Be wary of a message that comes with a sense of urgency. However, be aware that many scammers are aware of this and so, send messages that sound official. This is where cross checking the message with the supposed origin, whether it be on social media or calling customer care, comes in.

Phishing will only get worse the more tech gets introduced thus, always be up to date on how you can detect and prevent them.

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