Ways To Defend Yourself Against Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks are cyberattacks that rely on deception and manipulation to trick a victim into offering up sensitive information. Such attacks fall under the category of social engineering attacks, which exploit human behavior and mentality, making them harder to defend against. Nevertheless, there are several ways that you can use to protect against phishing attacks.

Install cybersecurity measures

Cybersecurity measures act as a preventive, detective, and responsive measures. For instance, antivirus software helps detect and purge malware from your device, which helps protect you against the installation of malware and helps defend you if malware is installed on your device. Having more cybersecurity measures installed provides you with more robust security. Aside from the antivirus, you should also consider installing a VPN and password manager one which offers network security and privacy while the other guarantees your password security respectively. Two-factor authentication also provides much-needed password security.

Increase your knowledge

Increasing your knowledge of phishing attacks works as both a preventive and detective measure. Information is your best defense against social engineering attacks. Keep in mind that cyber attacks are constantly evolving and security measures are made obsolete on an almost daily basis. Therefore, for the best security, you should ensure that your information is updated regularly. More information on phishing attacks provides you with a deeper understanding of the nature of phishing attacks, their characteristics, and how to defend against them.

Implement measures for authenticating the identity of your contacts

The success of phishing attacks increases considerably due to a lack of authentication. It is very easy for hackers to conceal their identity online and copy the identity of your contacts. For instance, by creating a sub-domain, the hacker can create an email address that resembles the one used by your bank. Therefore, there is a significant need to implement measures for authenticating the identity of your contacts as well as the authenticity of the websites you visit online. PGP is an app that can solve this issue with its only downside being that it’s not widely used.

Always read through your emails and texts before taking action

As mentioned, hackers are continually evolving their attacks. Therefore, if you didn’t know, phishing attacks are many times more sophisticated than they used to be. Sure, you might get a typo here and there, and poor grammar from time to time but most messages now contain better language usage than they used to. Instead of making speculations, you should make a habit of thoroughly analyzing the messages you get. Consider everything from the sender’s address to the greetings in the email. The common characteristics of phishing emails are that they have an exaggerated sense of urgency and place too much emphasis on getting you to either click a link or download an attachment. By looking for such characteristics, you can stop yourself from making a rash decision and falling for an avoidable phishing scam.

Watch out for fake URLs

To get you to offer up sensitive information such as passwords, hackers often clone websites through phishing kits. Unfortunately, taken at face value, these sites appear too genuine and may end up fooling you into giving your information. To avoid that, you should always check on the URL before clicking on it. Fake URLs are misspelled and often use HTTP instead of HTTPS. Although the domain name may seem similar, a single letter could lead to an entirely different website. Instead of clicking on links sent through emails or texts, you should make use of bookmarks to visit commonly used sites on your browser.

The Takeaway

Information is your best defense against phishing attacks. You can sufficiently prepare your defense if you have more information on the characteristics of phishing attacks, the nature of social engineering attacks and the methods available for protecting yourself against such attacks. Therefore, you should increase your wealth of knowledge on phishing attacks, cybersecurity measures, and social engineering attacks.