Phishing Scams

Phishing. It sounds slightly odd for something related to hacking purposes doesn’t it? However, it actually comes from the activity of fishing as in offering fake bait to hook victims. Phishing is in fact illegal; it is the attempt of hackers trying to get as much personal information from you as possible by disguising themselves as a trustworthy company. It is of course related to email scams, and the messages will be asking you for information that can be used to commit fraud.

The information they are almost certainly to ask from you will be:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Email addresses and passwords
  • Bank details
  • National insurance number
  • Usernames
  • Credit card numbers or pin numbers
  • Postal address

The problem with these emails is that they will often include links for you to click on to fill out all of this personal information. These links will send you to websites that may seem genuine; yet they would have been infected with malware which can obviously cause major problems and destruction to your computer with viruses. They will use manipulative language into panicking you and making you believe you need to click on the links as quickly as possible. Be cautious of this, reference back to the email scams post in order to see what to look out for when receiving these emails.

Phishing has obviously become more and more common as the years go on and technology progresses at such a fast pace. There are two main types of phishing to be aware of and what may affect you at some point. Spear Phishing is the first type; this is where the hackers will target individuals, organisations, roles and businesses in order to collect as much personal information as possible and make their emails look as convincing as they can. Whaling is the second type of phishing; this is where they will target high-profile names within either the government or high-end businesses.

So, what can you do in order to prevent Phishing from happening?

First of all, consider all the top tips from the previous email scams post. As mentioned in that, social media companies, your bank and email account company will never ask for such detailed personal information over email.

  • Do not click on any links or photos from a sender you do not know or feel uncomfortable opening.
  • o Always have anti-virus software installed into your computer. This will be a huge benefit to you if in case anything does manage to make its way through within the emails.
  • Use websites that are verified; they will have a green padlock symbol in the URL bar.
  • Do not have the same password for every site and account you use often. I know we are all guilty of this as remembering them all can be an issue! But it will truly help you when it comes to hackers as it makes it more difficult for them to find everything they are looking for.

Always be cautious! With fishing as a hobby, but more importantly, Phishing within your emails – don’t get reeled in!

If you are worried about your business IT protection or being affected by a phishing scam, then contact First Stop IT today. We can go through the options available and help you protect your business.