What exactly is a phishing scam? It’s when someone tries to lure you by showing you some bait, and you fall into the trap, giving him your personal details. These details could range from less harmful ones (Facebook id and password), to more severe ones (Paypal id and password/Credit card details).
How can you protect yourself from a phishing scam? Knowledge is power. If you know how hackers try to get your usernames and passwords, you can be cautious and not fall a prey to their tactics. Here are some ways that hackers use to phish unsuspecting victims.
Email phishing has been there for decades. You get a seemingly harmless email asking for details. You enter your details.
“There and there… all done. Wait what? My account has been hacked! How did that happen?”
The apparently harmless mail you got was not that harmless it seems. For example, look at this mail:
This is a typical phishing mail. It seems that it’s been sent from eBay. It’s got all the official stuff: the logo and the format. But we’ll need some detective skills here. Let’s discuss some points.
1. First of all, if you look at the sender’s address, it doesn’t really look like a trusted source.
2. Second, the phishing message will have some sort of urgency in it which will prompt the user to take action without much thinking. Their aim is to make the user go into panic mode so that he just clicks on the links and enters details without thinking twice.
3. Also, this mail has a non-US dating format, though it is supposed to be generated from United States. Anyway, the date thing doesn’t always work.
4. It again uses threat to scare the reader.
5. The BEST and FOOL-PROOF point to know if it’s a phishing scam: hover your mouse over the link and check the address bar. The links are different? Bingo- we have a phishing attempt here.
There have been many cases of phone phishing because people are not really careful. I myself got a phone call from someone who claimed to be from my bank, asking for my credit card details. And he said my card was about to be blocked, and I need to give him the details.
My first reaction? Panic. I went to my wallet and got my card out. And then luckily my internal CPU started working. I kept the card inside and told him if they needed my card details, I will go the bank and give them the details. Then I called my bank, and sure enough, they didn’t call me. You could be called for your debit card details or any important personal details that you don’t normally reveal. Beware of the sense of emergency.