Phishing is a modern-day online fraud that involves sending of suspicious messages, mostly using emails, to unsuspecting people requesting for sensitive information. The information usually requested are usernames, passwords for financial or other personal details. The common narrative used is detail verification with threats of terminating the service if the data requested is not provided.
Common Signs for Phishing Attempts
- Spelling and Grammar used in an email are the first signs of phishing. In case the meaning or structure of a sentence is incoherent, do not open any attachment or link on the email. Also, the way salutations are written matters. Reputable companies always address their customers by their names, not generic statements.
- If an email requests for personal information, this should raise an eyebrow. Such requests are usually accompanied by repercussive statements like account suspension. At no point will a service provider request sensitive information via email; neither will they threaten their customers.
- At the end of any email, there is contact information of the sender. If this information is not correct, chances are that it is a phish. But beware, recently, some fraudsters are advancing their mimicking and therefore using the correct footer.
How to Prevent Phishing
- Before opening any link sent via email, hover the pointer on it to display the actual URL. If it looks suspicious, do not open.
- Do not open any links provided in an email if you are not sure. If possible, inquire further from the sender before opening.
- Look out for the full email address, not the name of the address. Most companies have their email suffix end with (.com). If not, try to search that URL on the internet for affirmation.
- Frequently change log-in information and avoid using one password on more than one site.