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5 ways to be phishing-proof

date: 16 June 2016
reading time: 3 min

XXI century has introduced many forms of cybercrime and phishing seems to be one that is used most often. How to stay clear of it? Can we protect ourselves? Let us present you with 5 easy ways not to get caught in the phishers’ net.

What is phishing?

Phishing is basically mimicking a well-known and trusted company or institution. Its aim is to gather your personal data, like passwords, to commit identity crimes. And this is what differs it from Brandjacking.

Phishing is a blend of two words – fishing and phreaking (telecommunication scams) and was first described as early as in 1987.

The Phishing process doesn’t look too unusual. The user receives a message that looks exactly like a legitimate message from e.g. a bank, it has its logo and graphics, so absolutely nothing looks odd and suspicious. However, it asks you to give out very personal information…

…and that is the moment when you should become more alert than ever.

Let us show you 5 ways to keep phishers away:

    • If it’s free, it’s probably dangerous – phishers phish cleverly. One of their methods focuses on proposing bonuses in exchange for your data. Many people get tempted by the perspective of additions that are free of charge.Remember, whenever such offer appears, always make sure to double check the promotion on the company’s official website. This is the best way not to get caught.
    • Keep calm… even when it’s stressful – time pressure is what nobody likes, but it’s yet another way of phishers’ doing. They want to make you panic and scare you by posting vile messages claiming you got infected by viruses or may lose your data. In such situations, don’t panic and remember that responsible and trusted companies never inform of such issues via a text or an e-mail.
    • Check for updates – this one may seem obvious, nevertheless having your antivirus programs updated is the key to success. Some programs offer special anti-phishing modules that work even better.Hackers are smart and they constantly come up with ways to invade your privacy, only regular updates can help you stay protected.
    • Look for padlocks – whenever you are about to make a payment online, make sure that you can see a ‘padlock’ sign somewhere on the page. This is a sign that the connection between you and the web page is secure. In Internet Explorer, it is visible at the top of the page and in other browsers it is usually at the beginning of page’s URL.
  • Be smart – as it was already mentioned above, be alert. No matter if you are downloading something or opening attachments in odd e-mails. Whenever you have a feeling that something looks unclear, call the sender’s company to check their intentions. What is more, before making a purchase in new, on-line places check the owners and their personal information. If these are not provided, better withdraw your order.

Unfortunately, fighting with phishing is extremely hard, since every day there are more and cleverer ways to scam us. However, following our 5 simple steps and combining them with caution and common sense may help keep you safe.

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