10 Best Practices to Avoid Email Phishing Attacks
Ever received those emails with attractive offers and links you’re likely to click? If you follow the directions and click the link, there is a chance you’d land up on a fake web page requesting you to input data like your username, password and other personal or financial details. Mind you, the web page will look authentic and you’re probably another victim of an email phishing attack. The miscreant who has implemented this phishing attack will then gain access to your information and may use it in the future for financial gains or other criminal activity.
Here are 10 ways to avoid a phishing attack:
1. Avoid clicking on hyperlinks in emails
It is best to not click the hyperlink within the email if the email is from an unknown sender. If however, you feel the urge to check the link for the attractive offers put for you, you must rather manually type the URL in the web browser itself.
2. Do not enter sensitive information in a pop up window
Unless you know for a website to be trustworthy, it is best to block pop up windows altogether. Pop up windows are often most used tools for phishing attacks. You must always ensure not to enter sensitive data into a pop up window.
3.Ensure HTTPS on address bar
For sensitive information transfer, you must ensure it is through a legitimate and secure channel as confirmed by the S in HTTPS instead of the regular HTTP.
4. Literacy on phishing attacks
When you remain aware of the kinds of Phishing scams and the various techniques associated with it, it is likely that you’d escape many phishing attacks and scams. The phishers or identity thieves often change their scheme and technique, hence if informed, you’d know when and where not to reveal your information.
5. Keep antivirus protection up to date
While it may seem very obvious to keep you antivirus protections up to date, most people never seem to keep up with it. The techniques and technology associated with phishing attacks keeps evolving, so must your antivirus to protect you against phishing attacks.
6. Use anti spam software
An anti spam software may provide partial protection against phishing attacks as it is likely to filter out a number of emails that might put you at risk of identity theft or phishing and prevent them from landing in your inbox.
7. Use anti spy software
An anti spy software will minimize, if not eliminate, the presence of spyware on your computer. When the spywares become minimal or potentially absent, there is a very bleak risk of any malicious phishing attacks on your computer.
8. Install and maintain a reliable firewall
You are protected from introduction of malicious code on your computer, which might be a tool of phishing if you install and maintain a reliable firewall.
9. Protect against DNS pharming attack
A very recent type of phishing attack, DNS pharming does not involve email or pop up windows. On the contrary, the person’s local DNS server is poisoned, thus causing a person’s attempt to visit an actual website ending up in being misrouted to a fake venue. It is used mostly for capturing financial information. For instance, when visiting your Banking website, you may end up on the fake web page without being able to tell it from the original one through a DNS pharming attack.
10. Utilize back-up system copies
Creation of back up copies is another way to prevent against phishing attacks as the person can revert to the uncorrupted system in case he suspects a phishing attack on the system.