How to Identify & Avoid Phishing Scams in 2022?

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IT Support & SecurityWritten By: Suman Kumar Paul

Phishing security is now becoming highly important as more cybercriminals use online scams to steal your details. We all know a few techniques to avoid spam emails. However, a few phishing emails appear promising and legitimate. Nowadays attackers are focusing more on personalized phishing tactics which might confuse you at first glance. Scams are getting serious issues for businesses to maintain data integrity. It is always better for an organization to integrate IT security solutions with its existing workforce.

How to identify or Spot a Phishing Attempt?

Cyber attackers use email or text messages to mislead you into providing personal information. Attackers may attempt to get your passwords, account numbers, or Personal Details. They potentially acquire login access to your email, bank, or other accounts. Attackers always keep themselves updated with the latest technique. However, there are multiple techniques to identify suspicious emails so that’s phishing attacks can be stooped before any serious damage.

•    Consider That Every Email Is A Possible Phishing Attack

While this may appear extreme, it is important for individuals to thoroughly scrutinize an email to determine its legitimacy. Users must not rely entirely on their organization's spam filters, since these standard email security technologies do not offer the best protection against certain types of attacks. Some businesses recently started using Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) to protect proprietary apps connectivity and to reduce the risk of internet-based applications.

•    Verify and check the Email Address

One of the most effective techniques to avoid phishing is to carefully check and verify the email "From" address. This can be done if an email from a bank, payment service, shop or even the government appears unexpectedly, especially to a work email.

•    Read the Email

It is an important step to open and read the email thoroughly. It helps the user to spontaneously ask questions like:
    Does this email appear to be urgent?
    Is the email promising you anything that appears to be "too good to be true"?
    Do you have a business relationship with the firm that is approaching you?
Well if you notice sometimes suspicious or unusual with the email then we recommend you avoid the Email.

•    Check for Spelling and Grammar

In general phishing emails comes with Grammar, spelling, and even formatting errors in them. Professional emails from a bank, credit card company, financial institution, or government don’t include spelling and grammatical errors. Authentic firms and businesses prefer to use appropriate business English for all their emails. So if you feel the language is not up to the mark then it is most likely a phishing attempt.

•    Look for your Name

In addition to grammar and spelling, investigate other factors relating to your name and how you are addressed. Legitimate businesses, particularly those who have accounts or have worked directly, will not approach you in a generic manner. For Example - A generic welcome (for example, "Dear Madam") might be an indication of fraud.

•    Check for Requests

While examining the email's Authenticity, look for any unusual requests. Most fake emails request that the receiver to respond the email or click a link in the email. Anything out of the normal or unreasonably demanding is most likely a phishing scam.

•    Look for Links and Attachments

The purpose of a hacker is to encourage victims to click on the links or download attachments. This leads to the automated downloading of viruses, which infects the victim's computer. Users must hover their mouse over a link to confirm its legitimacy. Whereas the link is generally located in the lower left-hand corner of the screen. We suggest you not click on it if it displays a long URL with an unusual domain.

Likewise, an attachment, even if it has a relatively normal name like "Monthly Report" and a recognizable file extension like PDF, might be malware and must not be double-clicked or downloaded.

How to Avoid Phishing Attacks?

The following are some techniques for your business to safeguard its employees and infrastructure from phishing threats. Moreover, well-trained staffs are an organization’s strongest protection.

Certain preventative measures should be implemented to mitigate phishing attacks.

•    Using of Spam Filter

This is possibly the most fundamental form of protection a business can deploy. Most emailing applications (e.g., Outlook, G Suite) offer spam filters that can recognize known spammers instantly.

•    Update Security Software Regularly

Businesses need to make sure that all security measures are updated. This can identify and eliminate malicious files from reaching an employee's computer unknowingly via a phishing attempt. Password expiration and complexity should be included in security protocols.

•    Use Multi-Factor Authentication

The protection technique demands multiple data to log in and obtain access. The security feature is very important for a business to eliminate fraudsters away from obtaining credentials of the employees. MFA is one of the best securities to eliminate scammers with its biometric authentication.

•    Back-Up Your Data

In the case of a cyber-attack or intrusion, all data must be encrypted and backed up.

•    Don't Click on Links or Attachments

Employees should be trained on how to identify suspicious links and files, and they should avoid clicking on or downloading anything from a source they do not trust.

•    Block Unreliable Websites

In the case that an employee mistakenly clicks on a fraudulent link, a web filter can be implemented to prevent entry to harmful websites.

The Final Protection

Phishing attacks on commercial and business networks can be very harmful. It just takes a few untrained employees to provide fraudsters access to sensitive business data, including client financial and credit card details. The potential of the attack is extremely high, and enterprises must protect themselves using top IT security solutions for businesses.

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