10 Tips to Keep Safe from Phishing Scams


Phishing Scams are one of the most popular forms of cyberattacks. They use various means of “fishing” out your private information. They are massively successful at making huge profits for cybercriminals as many victims fall prey to the tactics each year. Thankfully, there are ways to protect yourself from getting scammed if you know how to correctly identify and prevent them.

Here are 10 tips to keeping yourself safe from Phishing Scams.

1. Keep updated on phishing techniques

Phishing scams are constantly changing with new ways being used to lure unsuspecting victims. Keep updated with news and social media alerts about the latest phishing techniques so you can avoid them. IT admins should share information about new scams with users through regular security awareness training to lessen the risk of your systems falling prey to an attack.

2. Resist clicking that link!

Only click on links if you are confident you can trust the website or email you are viewing. If you’re unsure, you can hover over the links before clicking them to check if the URL matches to where it’s supposed to go.  Even then, the website may look real but is only a copy of the real site set up to steal your information. Its better to manually navigate to the site through your search bar rather than click on the link.

3. Install anti-phishing add-ons

Anti-phishing add-ons are now available for free on most internet browsers. These anti-phishing add-ons alerts you if the site you are on is a known phishing site. So go ahead and install that add-on!

4. Check the website’s security

You can know whether a website is secure if the URL starts with “https” or have a closed padlock next to the URL. If neither of these features are present, then do not share any sensitive information or download any files from the site. This is one more way to keep your sensitive data secure.

5. Switch up your passwords

We know its tempting to use the same password for everything! However, passwords can get leaked, so its wise to not only use different passwords for different accounts, but to periodically change those passwords as well. This will help lock out potential attackers and keep your accounts safer.

6. Keep your devices updated

Constant update notifications can be annoying. Security patches and updates are however very important in keeping your systems safe from new cyber-attack techniques by patching holes in security. By not updating, you leave your system vulnerable to phishing attacks that could have been avoided.

7. Install Firewalls

Firewalls literally act as a wall or shield between your device and an attacker. Its best to use both desktop firewalls and network firewalls together. This will strengthen your security defenses and reduce the likelihood of phishing criminals penetrating your computer network.

8. Avoid Pop-Ups

Pop-ups can be legitimate elements of a website. Unfortunately, they are often phishing attempts in disguise. Most browsers are now embedded with pop-up blockers, a feature you should turn on to get rid of most malicious pop-ups. However, if one still pops ups, do not click on the “Close” or “Cancel” button, as those can still lead to phishing sites. Instead, click on the “x” in the corner.

9. Guard your personal information

Generally, you should never share your card information over the internet unless you are 100% sure you can trust the site. Its also good practice to never share sensitive information with anyone via email or instant messages. These messages can be intercepted by phishing criminals.

10 Use antivirus and antimalware software

Antivirus and antimalware software are a must to help defend against known phishing scams and cyber threats. They help detect any suspicious user behaviour and unwanted changes to files, attempt to quarantine malicious files and automatically alert users.

Feel free to contact our ADVANTUM Managed Services team if you need help monitoring your network or procuring the right protection software for your systems. You can also schedule a FREE Network Health Check Consultation & preliminary report.

There is no single fool-proof way to avoid phishing attacks, but by keeping these tips in mind, you can have a safer online experience.

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