What is Phishing and How to Deal With It?

What is Phishing and How to Deal With It?

Phishing is a cybercrime where a target is contacted by email, telephone or text message, by someone posing as a legitimate institution like your bank, HMRC etc.
They attempt to lure individuals into giving away sensitive data. This can be personally identifiable information, banking and credit card details, and passwords.

The information is then used to access important accounts and can result in identity theft and financial loss.

Common Features of Phishing Emails and texts.

Sounds too good to be true?
Then it most likely is.
‘Win a luxury holiday. Win a Smartphone’.
By tempting you with something you would like, these lucrative and eye catching statements want you to click on their website.

Time Pressure 
‘You can only get this if you click in the next hour’. You know the type. Putting a time pressure on people gives them a fear of missing out.
If you don’t reply immediately your account will be locked, or your card will be charged.
This makes people fearful, which causes them to act.

Hyperlinks
Hyperlinks are often used by cyber criminals by creating a link that looks legitimate, but will in fact infect your device when clicked. Hovering over the link shows you the website you will be taken to upon clicking it.

Unusual Sender
The “from” field will show you who has sent the email. If the domain looks odd or doesn’t match with the business in question, then it is probably a phishing attempt.

Attachments.
These emails will often ask you to open the attachment to see documents such as invoices or further information documents. The attachments will contain ransomware, malware or other viruses which will infect your PC and network.

Common Features of phishing phone calls.

There in an increase in trying to trick people into handing credit card or payment information via the phone.
Common examples of this are calls pretending to be from Microsoft saying you have a virus and they need to get on your computer. Once logged on via a website, they will steal your personal data from the machine.
Another common one is claiming to be from telecoms companies like BT & Virgin asking for payment or will cut your phone off. Then, they make your phone line appear dead which convinces people to pay up  and find their account or credit card has been wiped.
They also spoof legitimate numbers like banks and phone companies to appear legitimate. There is more information on this here.

What can you do to protect yourself.

Install an anti virus suite to keep your PC safe from Malware and viruses. It must be a full suite, not “just” an anti-virus solution.

Don’t open attachments in an email unless you are absolutely certain it is something you are expecting and also from the right business. Call the business in question, check they have sent you this email.

Do not click on a link. Go directly to the website in question and proceed from there – that way you know you are logging into the right website.
The only exception is if you have just requested a password reset for a service you use.
Even so, still check the domain the email comes from matches the company in question.

Have you got I.T support? Then speak with them so they can look at your spam filters and try and prevent more getting through.

They are becoming more sophisticated in their approach so please be vigilant. If in doubt – check. Check with the business it claims to be from. Check with your I.T support. Better to be cautious than risk being infected.

For more help with your business I.T you can call us on 02476 102030 or contact us here

Thanks for reading

What is phishing and how to deal with it