Even though technical security measures are improving constantly, phishing remains one of the cheapest and simplest ways for cybercriminals to get access to sensitive information. As easy as clicking a link, victims of phishing are susceptible to sharing private information and put themselves at risk of identity theft.
To know how to best protect yourself, you need to understand what a phishing attack is, what types there are, and how you can recognize it if and when it appears in your inbox. Keep reading and we’ll help you avoid any security issues from phishing.
Table of Contents
- What is a phishing attack?
- A brief history of phishing
- How does a phishing attack work?
- What are the different types of phishing attacks?
- How to recognize a phishing attack
- What to do if you become a victim of a phishing attack?
- How to mitigate phishing attacks
What is a phishing attack?
Phishing is an online scam where criminals impersonate legitimate entities in order to trick victims into sharing sensitive information or installing malware.
The term ”phishing” is a play on the word “fishing” since in both cases someone throws out bait and waits for users or fish to “bite”. Most often hackers do this via malicious emails that appear to be from trusted senders by including a link that will seem to take you to the company’s website. Once you fill in your data, that sensitive information can be stolen.
That data can be any private information that could be valuable, such as login credentials (email and password), financial data (credit card details or online banking credentials) or even personal data (date of birth, address or social security number). Phishing is considered a type of social engineering attack because it relies on human failures instead of hardware or software ones.
A brief history of phishing
The first example of phishing is from the mid-1990s, when an attempt to steal AOL user names and passwords was made using tools like AOHell. Despite many warnings from AOL, the attacks were successful, since phishing was a brand new concept and not something user had ever seen before. Following the initial AOL attacks, many early phishing scams came with obvious signs that they were not legitimate – including strange spelling, weird formatting, pixelated images and messages that often didn’t make a lot of sense.
Some phishing campaigns remain really easy to recognize (we’ve all received the email from the down on his luck prince who wants to leave his fortune to you), but others have become so advanced that it’s nearly impossible to tell them apart from real emails. This is because phishers have evolved along with new technical capabilities. Scams have now spread to social media, messaging services …read more
Read more here:: B2CMarketingInsider