Ever fallen for an email that asked you to buy gift cards for your boss? What about a text that insists it has a delivery update for a package you may (or may not) have coming via courier? The classic blunder – and phishing at its finest.
Phishing is a type of cyber-attack that has become increasingly common in recent years. According to a report by the Anti-Phishing Working Group, there were over 1.2 million phishing attacks in the 3rd quarter of 2022 alone setting a new record. It involves someone sending a fraudulent message that appears to be from a legitimate source to trick individuals into revealing sensitive information such as passwords, credit card numbers, or other personal information.
It can take many forms, but they all involve some form of deception. Some common examples of phishing include:
In each of these scenarios, the goal of the attacker is to trick you into giving up your personal information, which they can then use for fraudulent purposes.
How do I protect myself from phishing?
Fortunately, becoming aware of common phishing methods is an easy way to start avoiding them. Read the following tips on avoiding attackers:
What to do if I received a phishing email?
If you suspect that you have received a phishing email, here’s what you should do in the following scenarios:
You’ve only opened the email
Simply delete it.
You’ve entered your credentials
Change your passwords for those accounts that you think might be compromised.
You’ve given out personal or financial information
Contact the service provider for your online accounts and report the fraudulent activity, including the following if they apply to you:
Remember, phishing is a serious threat that can have severe consequences. By being vigilant and taking the necessary precautions, you can protect yourself and your personal information from falling into the wrong hands.