Last Updated on September 29, 2022 by Vasco Lourenço
You believe you are less likely to fall victim to phishing than anyone you know. Researchers from New York University have the data to prove it.
This belief creates a false sense of security, making you more vulnerable to phishing.
There are many things that can happen after a phishing attack:
- Hackers can transfer money from your bank accounts to theirs.
- They can steal trade secrets, destroying your company’s competitive position.
- Birth dates and social security numbers are examples of information that may be compromised. Hackers often use this information for identity theft.
- They may open new credit accounts in your name or use your insurance to access medical care.
- Hackers can also download files, videos, and photos from your computer. They can upload sensitive images to the Internet, causing embarrassment and emotional distress.
The phishing attack can distract you from your regular business activities. You must investigate the attack, fix your systems, and deal with customers or the police. The disruption could have serious consequences for your business.
Being vigilant is your first line of defense against phishing attacks. There are preemptive measures to safeguard yourself from phishing.
Related: How To Prevent Web Shell Attacks
A recent survey revealed that 53% of people fear forgetting their passwords. So, they use the same password for various accounts. This practice lets attackers access your accounts across different platforms. Using different passwords for many applications and sites is the best way to protect your online accounts.
The famous hacker Kevin Mitnick recommends using twenty-five characters or more. Shorter passwords are easier to hack using password-guessing programs.
A password manager is an excellent tool for generating and storing your passwords. Instead of memorizing many passwords, you only have to remember one master password. This password gives you access to your password manager.
Many password managers have an autofill feature. It fills out the login form using the credentials stored in the vault. The app also safeguards you from spear phishing attacks. It will not reveal your password if it detects a spoofed website.
Many of us have antivirus software installed on our laptops and desktop computers. But we often overlook our mobile devices. This carelessness makes us an open target to cybercriminals.
We use our mobile devices more than we did in the past, and we conduct activities that involve sensitive data, such as mobile banking. You should install security software from reputable vendors and update them regularly.
Creating malicious websites is a typical method cybercriminals use for phishing attacks. Limit your browsing activity to reputable sites. Avoid suspicious websites to lower your chances of getting malware on your devices.
There are numerous fake versions of popular mobile apps out there. These fake apps can steal your private data, like your banking information. And they can perform various other malicious activities on your devices without your knowledge.
Install apps and software only from legitimate places, such as the Google Play Store. Also, make sure they are from reputable software vendors. Read the reviews before downloading anything to reduce the risk of phishing.
Criminals use social media to commit fraud, identity theft, and all sorts of crimes. They connect with you to harvest information, allowing them to impersonate you. They could also send you links to websites that capture your sensitive information.
One other activity you must be wary of on social media is answering a seemingly innocent quiz. Phishers post simple questions about your favorite pet or your first-grade teacher. These posts may seem trivial. But if you examine more closely, you’ll notice that these are standard security questions. They can use the answers to change your passwords, locking you out of your accounts.
A secure connection does not ensure complete safety from attackers. But when you use public wireless networks, you are even more vulnerable. Use a virtual private network (VPN) when utilizing public Wi-Fi. Also, avoid accessing your bank account.
Following security measures takes time and effort. But consider the grave effects a phishing attack can have on your personal life and business. Install a VPN, use strong passwords, and be cautious on social media. These efforts are a piece of cake compared to the damages that can happen if you fall victim to phishing.