How to Detect and Avoid Phishing Attempts

In this article, you'll learn how to detect and avoid phishing attempts in order to keep your data secure and safe from scammers and hackers.

Updated on July 25, 2022
How to Detect and Avoid Phishing Attempts

Scammers and hackers often use malicious text messages and emails to deceive people and make them give out their personal information. They can use this information to access people’s bank accounts and steal their money. Even worse, they could leak sensitive information about one’s personal life to the public. Fortunately, there are ways to detect such attempts and prevent one from being the victim of a phishing expedition. In this article, you’ll learn how to detect and avoid phishing attempts in order to keep your data secure.

How to Detect and Avoid Phishing Attempts

How to Spot a Phishing Attempt

Phishing text messages or emails are made to resemble one coming from a good source. So, like a bank, a package delivery company, an online retail platform, a payment channel, or a reputable website.

The main aim of these fraudsters is to gain access to social security numbers, login credentials, and banking details. An easy way to spot a possible phishing attempt is to observe the pattern in which their messages are going.

Their messages usually have a reason urging one to open an attachment or click on a link. The reason might be that there was an attempt to log into your account and you need to click on an attached link to change your password. Alternatively, the reason could be that you have a free gift item. In addition, are eligible for a discount, or have a problem with your payment information and need to update it.

Review Detect and Avoid Phishing Attempts

Look closely at the email address or phone number of the sender and make sure it is correct. Check for spelling errors or if the domain is different from what you are up to. For example, if you are here to getting messages from “amazon.com” but you get an email from “amazon.us”, it is most likely a phishing mail.  

Most companies you should expect a message from would address you by the name you used to register an account on their website when they send emails or messages. So, generic salutations like “Hello Dear” and “Hello Sir/Madam” are usually red flags to detect and avoid a phishing attempt.

What to Do When you Spot an Attempt

When you notice any of these warning signs, remember the following;

  • Firstly, do not click on any link in the message
  • Secondly, every phishing email should be reported and sent to the spam folder or deleted immediately
  • Finally, avoid downloading attachments that come with these emails

Tips to Prevent Phishing Expeditions

Apart from your vigilance, doing the following will give you an extra layer of protection from phishing scams. Apply these phishing prevention tips.

  • Only create accounts on safe websites
  • Install credible security software
  • Set up multi-factor authentication on the accounts you have on all websites you use
  • Regularly back up your data
  • Install security updates on your antivirus programs

Endnote to Detect and Avoid Phishing Attempts

Learn the ways to detect phishing attempts and the actions to take in case you happen to receive these messages. Updated security programs that help with online safety might be able to detect scam messages and notify you when you receive them. Avoid clicking any suspicious links, as one-click could be all it takes for hackers to gain access to your computer.

Topics

Security