Phishing scams have been used since the internet began, and the problem looks very unlikely to be solved any time soon. These scams are often successful and enable cybercriminals to make significant profits because many people fail to identify when they’ve become a victim of a phishing email scam.
Fortunately, there are ways you can avoid them from happening to you. By reviewing these seven tips, you’ll be able to regain peace of mind, knowing you’ve done everything you can to escape these financially devastating schemes.
Keep Up-to-Date on the Latest Phishing Techniques
With new ways to scam people being created every day, it’s imperative you keep up to date with the current methods used. This way, you can recognize a potential phishing ploy and reduce the risk of being affected by one.
If you want to find out there and then, Google will provide you with many answers, including the latest phishing techniques, from session hijacking to pharming to using homoglyphs. However, you can also attend ongoing online security awareness training sessions to stay on top of any potential new phishing scams.
Be Aware of What You Click on
Clicking on sites you trust is completely fine; however, when it comes to suspicious links on random emails or instant messages on your browser, this is a red flag.
If you are tempted to click on a link, be sure to hover over it first and make sure the URL is correct. This is because phishing emails can look like they are from authentic companies; however, it sends you to a fraudulent site when you open the link.
They can also ask you for your information but not include your name in the email. For example, if it starts with “Dear Valued Customer,” you should never respond, as they will almost certainly be phishing scams.
Install Antivirus Software
There are many benefits to using antivirus software, including helping you to avoid phishing scams. They work by scanning every file sent to your email or computer and determining whether they could be a threat.
By installing this software, you also prevent damage to your device, alongside having the peace of mind that a phishing scam isn’t about to trip you up. To ensure antivirus software continues to protect your device, you should make sure you update it regularly. This is because out-of-date software could miss a scam, as new ones are being created all the time.
Never Give Away Your Personal Information
Sharing your financial information or personal files over the internet can be devastating, especially if spam emails and phishing scams are rife.
If you receive an email asking you for bank details or personal data, know that companies never do this, and you should report the address immediately. If you believe the company asking for your details may not be legitimate, give them a call asking them if they are sending these emails.
As an internet user, never provide your confidential information through links sent in emails. You should also never respond to an email with your sensitive information either. You can avoid being scammed by checking the address of the website. If the site doesn’t begin with “https,” know that it is not secure.
Check Your Accounts Regularly
If you’re someone who rarely checks in on their online accounts, the chances are a cybercriminal could be accessing your information easily without you even realizing it. So, log in to your online account once or twice a month to check the status and look for unusual activity.
You should also ensure you update your passwords monthly to make it harder for potential scammers to access your information. To prevent credit card and bank phishing scams, make sure you check your statements frequently, too. Request to get monthly financial statements, and check each entry carefully. This ensures no suspicious purchases have been made, allowing you to address problems straight away.
You should also compare bank and credit card statements against the annual reports that you receive from the three major credit bureaus. This helps you identify if phishing scammers have gained your information and opened credit cards or taken out loans in your name.
Beware of Pop-Ups
Numerous pop-up windows can be so frustrating that many people think clicking on them will make them go away. However, this is not always the case. These windows can disguise themselves as legitimate website components; however, they are spam email scams more often than not.
With many secure browsers allowing you to stop pop-ups, it’s wise you use these features, even if you think a window may be legitimate. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
Also, if you do receive pop-up windows, never select the “cancel” icon. This is because these buttons have been built to trick internet users and instead direct them to phishing sites. You should instead always click the “x” button at the top corner of the pop-up box.
Add an Anti-Phishing Browser Toolbar
Many secure internet browsers have a feature that allows them to be customized with anti-phishing toolbars. This feature can run quick checks on each site you visit, monitor them, and compare them to lists of well-known phishing websites.
For example, if you enter a suspicious or dangerous site by mistake, your anti-phishing toolbar alerts you so you can make a swift exit before you make any sinister clicks. These toolbars are also entirely free, making them more accessible, allowing you to surf the internet knowing you are protected against phishing scams.
Protect Your Safety Online
When it comes to avoiding phishing and spam email scams, implementing these methods allows you to enjoy the internet safely.
From never giving away your personal information to installing high-quality and performing antivirus software, you’ll ensure your space on the internet is free from any malicious scams.
With internet browsing and replying to emails being regular actions many people take, it’s always great to know that you can employ tips that guarantee your safety.
Avoid being phishing and spam email scammed and make the most out of the internet – the majority of it is an entertaining, insightful, and educating place.