How to Protect Against Phishing

If you’ve heard about phishing, you may be concerned about the scams cybercriminals may try on you and how to prevent phishing and spoofing attacks. But with a few tips on spear phishing prevention, you’ll have a fighting chance against them.

Here are some things you should practice when you’re online.

Double check your emails

There are several key things you need to check when it comes to your emails, examples of spear phishing might help you decide. They include:

  • Display name: Is it really from the person it claims to be? Look at the characters carefully and also expand the “from” field to double check the email address.
  • Content: Is it full of spelling and grammar mistakes? Does it look suspicious? Is it asking you for personal details, like your bank account number? If so, chances are it’s a phishing email.
  • Attachments: Any unexpected .exe files are almost guaranteed to be phishing viruses. If you’re expecting an executable file from a client or coworker, confirm with them that they’ve sent it before you open it.

MORE: Spear Phishing vs Phishing

Make sure the sites you visit are secure

Modern-day browsers have made it very easy for us to check if the sites we visit are safe or not. They should have the capability to block phishing websites from even loading, but you must still be vigilant.

The first thing you need to look for is the lock symbol next to the URL. If it’s not there, or if it’s not green, that means the site you’re visiting may not be secure nor have a valid certificate.

The other thing you should be looking for is the prefix for the site. “https://” means it’s secure, while “http://” means it isn’t.

While you’re out and about, it may be tempting to cut back on your mobile data usage and use a public, unsecured wifi connection instead. This may be fine for regular browsing, but if you’re planning on making purchases or logging into your bank account, your information can easily be stolen over the network using spear phishing attack.

Install anti-phishing software

Anti-phishing software can be a great add-on to your antivirus program. Although your antivirus should block any phishing attacks, you can never be too careful. Should anything slip through the cracks, you can bet phishing prevention software will catch it and protect you from anything malicious.

MORE: The Difference Between Phishing and Spear Phishing

Keep your private information safe

By following the above phishing prevention best practices, your private information should stay nice and secure. Make sure you always keep your antivirus and anti-phishing software updated so you get the maximum protection possible.

MORE: What is Phishing?

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