Phishing is an attack where the scammer attempts to trick you into clicking on a malicious link, downloading, malware, or sharing personal or sensitive information. Phishing attacks can be via telephone, email, text, or social media platforms. Messages are often generic, and the message often appears to be from a trusted, legitimate source such as a bank or courier company. Phishing attacks are on the rise, so it is important to recognize the signs.
What Are The Signs Of Phishing Attacks?
Spotting a phishing attack can be difficult. However, it is important to recognize those messages to ensure scammers are unable to take advantage of us. Here are some signs to look out for to recognize phishing attacks:
The Message Asks You To Share Personal Information
Any legitimate organization would likely never ask for personal information over telephone, email, or text, so this should be a red flag. Scammers and cyber attackers are crafty in making their messages appear legitimate. If you are suspicious about a message you have received, it does not hurt to be cautious and contact the organization that supposedly sent the message. When contacting that organization, it is important to use official contact information.
The Message Involves A Threat
To persuade you to do what they want, scammers often utilize threats. Most people are fearful of what may happen if they do not comply with the scammers request. A common phishing attack is over telephone, whereby scammers claim to be a member of a government organization. They are after personal information such as your social insurance number, and threaten fines or even that you will be arrested if you fail to comply. If you receive a threatening message that claims to be from a legitimate source, do not panic or let the scammer scare you into giving them what they want.
The Message Comes From A Suspicious Sender
Phishing attempts can be difficult to spot as they appear to be from a legitimate organization. An immediate red flag is when the email address of the sender does not match the organization. In terms of telephone calls or text messages, searching the phone number of the sender will either confirm or deny it’s legitimacy.
The Message Includes A Suspicious Link
Cyber criminals or scammers often send messages that trick victims into clicking on a link. In an attempt to steal personal information from the victim, the links are to websites that appear to be legitimate but are spoofs. Provided you do not click the link, the scammer cannot get what they want from you.
Three signs of a suspicious link include:
- The URL of the link in the message does not match the legitimate organization’s website URL.
- The message includes incorrect grammar or overuse of exclamation marks and other punctuation.
- The message involves logos that look ‘off” or poorly designed templates. A government organization would never send messages like this.
Although there is no infallible way to recognize phishing attacks, being aware of the signs will help protect you and your loved ones. Always remember that if something appears suspicious, it likely is.
With predatory scams such as phishing attacks on the rise, we all must protect ourselves. No matter a person’s age or intellect, they could fall victim to a predatory scam. If you have any questions regarding phishing attacks, contact the IT experts at Burnt Orange IT Solutions. We can help your business mitigate risk, and be prepared for any IT-related emergency.
We hope this article gave you some insight. If you want to ensure your business’s IT security, contact the Trusted Saskatoon IT professionals at Burnt Orange Solutions and we can take IT worries off your plate.