Have you ever been hacked? If no, you should feel very lucky, as it has been very dangerous for people to surf internet without encountering some kind of malicious threats. Over the past five years, cyber crime has been rampaging over the internet, claiming thousands of victims. Even though hacking is not a new threat, the intensity of the attacks had increased by leaps and bounds lately.
When you talk about hacking threats, one of the most basic yet highly dangerous kinds is phishing attack. Well, phishing has been one of the favorite ways of exploiting victims for the cyber criminals for a long time. If you want to know how to protect against phishing, continue reading this guide which explains about some of the best tips to safeguard yourself from phishing attacks.
The 10 best tips to protect against phishing
To secure yourself from the threat of phishing attacks, you must educate yourself with the most effective techniques. Here, we present you the top 10 security tips that you can use to protect against phishing:
- Beware of Shortened Links: Cyber criminals target the users who’re most vulnerable. Such types of people are generally not careful about their online security, which is why they become easy prey to the hackers. While surfing through different websites, you may have come across shortened links which cover up the original url with a short link. Such links are highly dangerous, as you don’t really know what’s behind it. It’s better to avoid them altogether than risking your security.
- Be careful with suspicious Emails: Even though major email service providers such as gmail, hotmail, and many others offer advanced levels of filtering against spam, you ought to be careful while dealing with suspicious emails. Always, check the sender’s email address when you open an email. Furthermore, if the email is from an unknown sender, try to avoid clicking on any links from that mail. If you think that a particular email is a spam, make sure that your report it to the email service provider.
- Browse HTTPS: One of the most basic yet important security tips one should follow is to browse websites that come with HTTPS. Recently, most of the websites have been seen implementing this added layer of security. If you browse a website without this feature, you should be very careful. Hackers lure their victims into clicking fake webpages, which obviously wouldn’t have HTTPS. So, whenever you see a website with this security layer, be very cautious or simply don’t browse through it.
- Download from Official Sources: Usually, we download different types of files from the internet. They may include images, songs, videos, software, games, and many others. But, you could be committing a grave mistake here, which is downloading something from random sources. Because, many phishing websites disguise themselves as normal ones, but their attack happens in the background. You must only download files from the official websites of their respective publishers. Torrents may also lead to a disastrous situation.
- Don’t enter personal details onto pop-up forms: Have you ever been prompted with a pop-up window which asks for your personal details?! Well, most of such things are engineered by the hackers. Majority of such websites disguise themselves as surveys which would ask you for your basic info at the beginning. If you decide to partake in the survey, you will be asked personal details as your progress. If you want to be secure, never indulge in such surveys or any type of pop-ups that may ask you for your information.
- Encrypted Communication: Since we use our smartphone to communicate with multiple people on a regular basis, you need to make sure that you’re doing it in a secure way. Whether it could be through email, social media, Instant Messaging apps, or anything else, try to prefer the most secure ones. Many companies have already started offering encrypted communication services, so try to take advantage of it. For example, if someone tries to send a phishing link through Facebook messenger, it instantly blocks the URL.
- Avoid Public Wi-Fi: This is one of those mistakes that almost everyone commits without knowing the potential dangers of it. When you use a public Wi-Fi connection, you’re basically risking the security and privacy of both your device and your accounts. Cyber criminals can hack you through phishing techniques when you’re connected to a public connection. They can simply forge a fake login page where it asks you to enter your login information to access the internet. If you proceed and enter the info, you will simply be hacked.
- Use a Firewall: Many people usually neglect using a firewall feature, but you shouldn’t be doing that if you’re wondering how to protect against phishing. Hackers try to deploy their malicious software onto your computer and this malware then redirects your web requests to phishing pages. If you use a firewall, such type of dangerous connections will be blocked instantly, thus protecting from you any kind of potential threats.
- Install a Security Program: One of the best ways you could protect yourself from phishing attacks is simply using a good security program. Nowadays, many anti-virus programs are also offering security against different types of cyber attacks which also includes protection against phishing. So, install a security program and tighten up your defense systems.
- Update your Browser regularly: Actually, your quest to protection against phishing should begin here. You will have to update your browser regularly to avail new features which also include security patches as well. Many well-known browsers now warn you whenever you’re visiting a malicious website. So, an up-to-date browser will most probably let you know when you’re redirected to a phishing page.
Read also : Top 5 Tips for Computer Maintenance
Phishing is one of the most affected hacking methods that claimed millions of victims since the dawn of internet. Try to take precautionary steps by following the above-mentioned tips to protect against phishing. If you ever think that you’ve been hacked, try to change your password as soon as possible. You can also report to the appropriate authority.