Among the many serious internet crimes that affect people when they’re online, phishing is the most common. Lookalike websites, fraudulent calls, mistaken identity messages, fraudulent email addresses, and other techniques have been commonly employed by hackers to phish for your valuable personal data. Sometimes, it’s just a minor inconvenience. In more serious cases, captured information has been used to blackmail victims.
To stay safe from phishing, here are some things you should do.
1. Personal Information Is Best Kept to Yourself
Ensure that your personal information, such as pass codes, passwords, specific details and access routes are all kept secure and away from the eyes of unauthorized people. Some people have a habit of writing down passwords, which is a dangerous practice. Additionally, you may employ other techniques such as putting double security on your social media accounts.
2. Use Up-To-Date Antivirus Software
It is wise and recommended to use an anti-phishing software. These are specifically programmed to prevent the leakage of data through phishing. Other softwares use firewalls that block unauthorized or malicious content, keeping your device secure from the eyes of hackers.
3. Keep Yourself Up-To-Date on Current Scams
A little knowledge about this and that would do you no harm. It is always better to stay a step ahead of malicious hackers by keeping yourself updated about new techniques. Since the internet is a vast medium, one can keep discovering new ways and means of doing things and this of course, includes new techniques for carrying out unethical hacking. Read up on the internet on things that relate to private digital safety regularly.
4. Secure Your Files
Most people create secure spaces to store important information. In offices, data that is integral to the functioning of the company is generally kept in special folders that require authorized passcodes to be accessed. Such folders are often referred to as vaults. You may also employ the use of a vault for personal use. Remember to back up your important files in a cloud or drive. This not only allows them to be accessed from multiple devices, but also protects them from getting deleted completely. Do not share your cloud account password on any site.
5. Pop Ups May Be Harmful
Do not respond to pop ups. Similar looking pop-ups can be used effectively to look appealing to the user and make him/her click on the link it provides. These links then redirect to dummy sites which can read or extract information from your device, enabling a breach of security. Some browsers come with pop-up blockers. However, some sites that you trust may ask you to enable a blocked pop-up. Only do so if the URL is a verified one and accepted by your chosen antivirus.
6. Browser Type and Version are Important
You should always look at the webpage you are visiting and check whether it is secure. Cross check with the spellings of the URL in the search box. Some phishing techniques involve adding an extra vowel or word or designing a webpage to look similar to an official one. Others use confusing suffixes, such as a .com instead of a .net, which may be confusing to those searching. Some browsers automatically identify threats for you.
Protecting your information is more important than it seems. It takes a miniscule investment to introduce a special antivirus software to the device you use. Keep your firewall and software up to date and enable constant threats to be blocked. Some of these can help you block unwanted mails. Some email service providers can automatically transfer unwanted mail to the spam folder. Such steps not only protect your information, but also make you feel more relaxed and save you the trouble of having to secure your accounts over again. Start today and outsmart all malice.