Phishing is not a new problem on the Internet. Many people still fall for phishing scams every year. You can learn more about phishing and how to protect yourself from getting phished.

Types of Phishing

There are ways to prevent being phished by hackers. Users should know the most common phishing techniques out there. Some of them are not so easy to pick up, so know the following techniques that grew in popularity in 2019.

  • Phishing Through Text Messages — Hackers can text customers with content only viewable on a mobile device.
  • Targeted Geographic Location — They target certain people in a geographic location. For example, certain phishing attacks can be viewed on a mobile device in New York City on certain networks.
  • New Hosting Providers — Hackers use new hosting providers that can host their pages for long. These websites have many folders that host the phishing pages. A new folder/URL will load every time a new user visits a page. This way, hackers have more time and ways to keep phishing sites active.

In addition, hackers continue to use established methods to target more victims.

  • Phishing Through Search Engines and Social Media – Users search online and come across e-commerce websites with inexpensive products or services. These websites collect credit card information when the user buys the product. Facebook and other social media platforms are vulnerable to fake advertisements that lead users to phishing websites or downloading malware.
  • Malware – Malware contains software that can steal your information. Once you click on the link in an email or website, the malware will download and work on your computer. Sometimes, downloadable files have malware.
  • Email / Spam – This is the most common phishing scam. Most emails require users to enter their personal details into a form. Some forms ask users to access a new service through a link in an email.

Recognizing a phishing attack is the first step to protecting yourself from being phished. This helps protect you and information from falling into the wrong hands and ultimately costing you more. 

How to Protect Yourself from Phishing

Most Internet browsers and email applications can detect phishing emails and unreliable links. It’s best to train yourself first. Learn the tips below to protect you and your information when browsing online.

The FTC recommends taking the following steps to protect yourself:

  • Download antivirus protection for your computer.
  • Set up automatic updates on your phone. New software updates are ways your mobile company protects your phone from security threats.
  • Use multi-factor authentication – a security measure that requires one or two ways to log into your accounts via text, phone call, etc. 
  • Back up your data onto an external hard drive or cloud storage.

Phishing.org also suggests to only click links on trusted websites and to check your bank accounts frequently to make sure no fraudulent charges in them. Importantly, never give out your financial or personal information unless it’s a trusted website.

Taking the First Steps from Being Phished

Keep in mind that there is no guaranteed way to prevent a phishing attack. As phishing evolves, it has become much more important for phishing awareness. Understanding up-to-date phishing techniques and tips on protecting your information online are the first steps to prevent phishing. By being aware, you should be able to enjoy going online worry-free.

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