Fraud Alert! Phishing scams see a dramatic increase.
Here’s some very useful things you have to know about phishing…
We have some really fascinating phishing info to show you, but first you need to know what phishing is, how it functions and how to protect yourself from it.
Many will already be aware of what phishing is and a small minority will have already acted to tackle this growing issue. Phishing is now a part of your online activities and has be taken very seriously. These crooks are getting smarter and more creative. Too many victims already fall for their tricks and traps, so please share this info with others.
A phishing attempt usually starts with an email that looks like a legitimate letter from a company you do business with already…
The word phishing now has several different meanings. In simple terms, phishing is an attempt to steal sensitive information such as usernames, credit card information, and passwords. The perpetraitors do this by acting as a trustworthy sender of an email, website, software or another online resource. Smartphone applications are also evolving as a phishing tool.
The scammers rely on the huge numbers of the global consumer market. This internet based fraud model is all about the numbers. Contacting millions of people and organizations all at once and probably through illegal data access. They are acting on the simple math calculation at least a small percentage will take the bait.
Spear phishing has a single target – you!
Spear phishing is the term used when fraud perpetraitors target specific organizations or individuals to gather sensitive information. Think of it as “customized” targeting. They will search through your personal profile to see what topics get your attention. Then they will publish a headline in the form of a link that you can’t resist. This method is commonly described as “clickbait” and most people are not aware of how powerful a methodology this is to draw people in a situation or agenda.
By clicking on this link, malware, or malicious software, is a program or file that infects your computer or phone. It contains computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, and spyware. These programs can record you typing usernames and passwords, steal or destroy sensitive data, alter or highjack core computing functions.
The most common way to spread phishing malware is through email, but more and more links are looking real and is used to spread such malware. One common way to scam the victims is to advertise anti malware software as a “FREE” download. This is another method of spreading such malware. You get really do get what you don’t pay for. Most of the Google results for a free malware removal tool are malware downloads themselves.
The 9 useful things you need to know about phishing.
Every year millions of personal data sets are compromised online. Nearly one-third of this information is obtained through phishing.
While 91% of the cyber attacks start with an email, most of them are branded by real companies such as Microsoft and Amazon.
Over two thirds of organizations report being targeted by phishing scams. Phishing through URL links increased by 269% in 2018.
More than half of the phishing emails contain a link to malware that will install into your system without user consent.
Microsoft Office users are at most risk. Hackers can disguise the malware into an Office file email attachment to trick them into opening it.
SSL certificates are used on more than half of the phishing sites. So don’t be fooled by Secure Sockets Layer certified websites (SSL). SSL only ensures a secure link between the user and the server, not the information you’re providing to the defrauder at the other end.
Giving out usernames and passwords is one of the most common reasons for successful phishing attacks.
About 4% of ALL emails are phishing emails. Nearly one-third of them get past any company security measures.
An estimated 86% of worldwide phishing attacks are targeted against U.S. consumers and companies while Brazil is another big target for the attacks.
While measuring the number of victims is very difficult, according to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center statistics there was 1,509,679 complaints and $7.45 Billion in total losses reported from 2014 to 2018. The one thing everyone is sure of, phishing attacks will soon knock identity theft off the number one spot in personal frauds.
When it comes to fraud, education really is prevention!
As the world increasingly resorts to digital services with sharing data, the phishing attacks will increase. That is the reason we need to be vigilant with our data. Do not share your usernames and passwords with anyone. Make sure your credit card information is secured and avoid clicking links and filling online forms you’re not 100% sure are legitimate.
If financial institutions contact you, remember that no real entity will ask you to provide your personal or security data through an email or phone call. And always enter the websites directly through your browser using the company website URL, not by clicking URLs from an email. Keep it secure! Keep your information safe!
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