Phishing: what is it and how to avoid it?

Phishing: what is it and how to avoid it?

The extension of the use of the Internet has many benefits; However, as we always warn, the network also carries dangers that we must be aware of. One of the main problems that cybersecurity experts have had to face in recent years has been the proliferation of increasingly sophisticated and malicious forms of malware (or computer viruses).

A few months ago we told you about ransomware , one of the best known cyber attacks by society in general, as it is one of the most common and fastest spreading forms of viruses. But there are many other forms of threats: phishing, spyware, network worms, Trojans, riskware …

In this article we explain what it is, how it occurs and how you can avoid phishing , an attack that has become popular and whose consequences can be really negative.

Phishing or phishing

Phishing is a cybercrime that pretends to get hold of our confidential information related, above all, to bank account numbers, cards and passwords ; all with the intention of using them to commit some type of fraud .

Email: the great ally of phishing

The most common form of threat is through an email in which the cybercriminal poses as a trusted person, entity or company (this type  of cybercrime is also known as phishing attacks ) and in which we asks us to confirm certain confidential information , informs us that our account will be blocked if we do not take the required action, requests that we log in via a link or download an attachment . In this way, the user, believing that it is a trusted site, enters the requested information that, in reality, will end up at the hands of the scammer.

There are other forms of presentation of phishing, although much less widespread. This is the case of the SMS that contain a fraudulent link that encourages it to be opened, which is known as smishing , or even through a phone call in which the cybercriminal impersonates a bank and requests a series of personal data. This last modality is known as vishing .

In addition, there is a form of “enhanced” phishing known as spear phishing in which the attack is directed at specific people (unlike traditional phishing, which is usually a massive attack on an address base) who usually have full access to large amounts of confidential information, as is the case with the security officers of many companies.

This type of attack, unlike “normal” attacks, is usually more careful both in content and in the writing and presentation of the email.

Why do we fall for phishing attempts?

One of the reasons why in many cases we fall into the hands of cybercriminals is that these attacks are becoming more sophisticated ; some go so far as to perfectly copy the style and image of the company they are impersonating.

But we must bear in mind that another of the main causes of not knowing how to detect them in time is the lack of knowledge on the part of the user: not knowing the possible risks means falling more easily into the click trap, which is why cybersecurity education it is of vital importance.

How can we avoid phishing?

The basic thing to protect ourselves against this type of threat is to have a good updated antivirus . This will in most cases prevent spam from reaching our main inbox.

Here are some tips that will help you avoid phishing:

  • Always check who the sender is before opening any suspicious email.
  • Do not answer any questionnaire that requests confidential information via email.
  • Do not enter the website of your bank through an email.
  • Do not open any link that seems strange to you. One way to check the security of the link is to type it manually in your header search engine.
  • Periodically review the movements of your accounts.
  • Learn how to identify malicious emails: misspellings and odd wording can be signs of phishing. In addition, these types of criminals often use gifts or promotions as hooks.
  • Finally, remember that banks and other secure entities never ask for confidential information through email, so a good way to avoid problems is to directly contact the entity that sends you the message to verify if it is a reliable communication. .

MGS, within its Home insurance offer , includes coverage related to new technologies, such as remote home computer assistance in tools for parental control, security, privacy and personal reputation on the Internet. Find out about all the advantages of the MGS Home range on our website .

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