Phishing is a type of cyber attack where scammers try to trick you into giving them your personal information, such as your passwords, credit card numbers, or Social Security number. They do this by sending you emails or text messages that look like they're from a legitimate company, such as your bank or credit card company. The emails or text messages will often contain links to fake websites that look like the real websites of the companies they're impersonating.
Here are some common phishing techniques:
- Spoofing: Phishing emails and text messages often use spoofing to make it look like they're from a legitimate company. They may do this by using the company's logo, email address, or phone number. They may also use a domain name that is similar to the company's real domain name, such as “paypal.com” instead of “paypal.com”.
- Sense of urgency: Phishing emails and text messages often try to create a sense of urgency to get you to act quickly without thinking. They may say that your account has been compromised or that you need to update your personal information immediately.
- Threats: Phishing emails and text messages may also threaten you with negative consequences if you don't follow their instructions. They may say that your account will be suspended or that you'll be charged a late fee.
Here are some tips on how to prevent phishing attacks:
- Be suspicious of unsolicited emails and text messages. If you receive an email or text message from a company you don't know, or if you weren't expecting it, be suspicious. Don't click on any links or open any attachments in the email or text message.
- Hover over links before clicking on them. When you hover over a link, you'll be able to see the actual URL of the website that the link will take you to. If the URL doesn't look like the URL of the company's real website, don't click on the link.
- Go to the company's website directly. If you're unsure whether an email or text message is legitimate, go to the company's website directly by typing the URL into your web browser. Don't click on any links in the email or text message.
- Keep your software up to date. Software updates often include security patches that can help to protect you from phishing attacks. Make sure to install all software updates as soon as they're available.
- Use a strong password manager. A password manager can help you to create and manage strong, unique passwords for all of your online accounts. This can help to protect you from phishing attacks, even if you click on a malicious link or open an infected attachment.
If you think you may have fallen victim to a phishing attack, you should act immediately. Contact the company that you think you were impersonating and let them know what happened. You should also change your passwords for all of your online accounts.
By following these tips, you can help to protect yourself from phishing attacks.