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What Is Phishing, And How To Protect Your Data From This Threat

Do you know what phishing is? Have you ever heard of that term? You may have been a victim of this cybercrime without realizing it.

This is another one of the virtual threats, in addition to the famous viruses, to which we are all exposed when we browse the internet.

For companies, a better understanding of how this type of cybercrime works and knowing how to protect yourself is more than necessary.

That’s why we’ve put together this article for you, which brings you all the information you need to know to understand the danger of the internet.

Plus, we’ll show you how you can protect your data from being stolen.

Read on to understand better what phishing is!

What Is Phishing?

Phishing is a word originating from English that refers to online identity theft in the Information Technology area. It is a variation of “fishing,” which means “to fish.”

This term emerged around 1996 through cybercriminals who practiced theft of AOL (America Online) accounts. Later, the time began to be quoted in the media and consequently became more popular.

This criminal action occurs through attempts to acquire another person’s data; that is, criminals are trying to “fish” passwords, financial data, bank details, credit card numbers, or simply personal data of ordinary individuals.

The purpose is to use this data for various purposes, for example, to make online purchases on behalf of third parties.

How Does Phishing Work?

The practice of phishing has developed and has become much more powerful today than when it first appeared.

That’s because the fraudster can use email, apps, and websites designed to steal personal data. The criminal impersonates a trusted person or company by sending a message to attract his victims.

That is, some tools facilitate the success of criminal action.

So, often send a message to an email, app, or other tools, and wait until the victim opens the letter and falls into the trap.

In another situation, the victim needs to click on a specific link so that the criminal has access to their information.

Scammers send millions of messages daily to find various inexperienced users who might fall victim to the attack. And in some cases, they succeed no matter how absurd the situation.

Phishing attacks work through a few main steps: strategy planning, preparation, sending the attack message, data collection, fraud, and post-attack, which is the “cleansing” of all traces of action to prevent police investigations.

Tips For Phishing

Just as programs and techniques are constantly emerging to improve user safety and prevent cyber attacks, criminals are also evolving in their strategies to capture victims.

Now that you understand what phishing is, learn more specifically about the types of strategies most used in this fraudulent environment:

Blind Phishing

It is the most common type of attack of all. It works through an email sent out in bulk without much elaborate strategy, just counting that someone will fall into the trap by chance.

Clone Phishing

This scam is widespread by cloning an original website to attract users. It is widespread on shopping sites, for example.

Generally, when accessing a fake website, the person has to enter registration information in a malicious form that will transmit the data to the criminals. Soon after, the user is directed to the actual page and doesn’t notice the trap.

Scam

Scams of this type of phishing also seek to trick the victim into providing personal information such as bank account numbers, passwords, and credit card numbers by opening contaminated links or files.

This information will be used for the criminal to impersonate the user indiscriminately, stealing money and carrying out transactions.

The scam can be done via phone, email, text message, or social media.

Spear Phishing

It occurs when the attack is against a specific group. It could be, for example, against government officials, customers of a particular company, or even a specific person.

This type of phishing seeks to target this specific victim to obtain sensitive information, confidential files, or financials.

Whaling

It is a variation of phishing that targets high-level executives or relevant personalities, such as the president of a corporation. It does so on behalf of the company that the person works for.

These attacks often involve serious documents, such as court summons or internal corporate notices.

Wishing

This is voice phishing. It can be accompanied by an SMS that says your card has been blocked, for example, and asks you to call a specific number to resolve the situation, but it can also reach you in the form of a phone call. Through VoIP, criminals can easily hide their identities.

Pharming

It is an attack on DNS, the system responsible for translating IP numbers into domain names and allowing access.

It works as follows: whenever the user searches for a website on the internet when typing the URL (for example, google.com.br), DNS resolves the domain name to the server’s IP number, that is, the correct website. But if the DNS is contaminated, the URL typed could lead the user to a fake page created for the attack. Therefore, this type of phishing is used on a large scale.

Smishing

It is the name given to phishing carried out via SMS. These are often absurd messages, such as sweepstakes and cash prizes, but they still reach some people.

Phishing On Social Networks

These are unmissable campaigns and promotions that do not exist. They can also be messages that suggest “click here” and are trapped on social networks.

How To Protect Yourself From Phishing?

You are already looking to protect yourself from this threat by seeking to understand what phishing is.

But, in addition to watching out for unnatural links and sensational messages, there are other measures you can take to avoid falling into one of the traps above.

Check it out!

Pay Attention To Incoming Emails

Evaluate the information and intent of the incoming email. Notice suspicious features like unknown sender, external links, strange files, and messages with some threat or tactic to lure you in.

Install Antivirus

An antivirus is an excellent tool against phishing and other criminal tactics, so you only benefit from it. Look for a quality antivirus, even in a free version.

Two-Step Verification

This process involves two forms of access, one after the other, to check, with even more security, if the person trying to access is, in fact, the authorized person, thus increasing safety.

Apply this check whenever possible.

Use Plugins No Navegador Anti-Phishing

Good help is also installing specifically targeted plugins to prevent phishing.

Thus, each time you access a website, the tool will check if there is a record or evidence of this website on the blocklists.

Also Read: Five Tips For Securing End Devices

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