The benefits of online communication - websites, emails, and social media platforms - face many dangers and disadvantages in this modern age of technology. Unsurprisingly, we expose ourselves to malicious and dangerous cyber attacks with every piece of information we release. The Internet isn't all rainbows and sunshine; we all know there's a dark web out there. Even a single cyber attack can cause us a lot of trouble, and with all the different types that exist, we should do everything we can to prevent everyone. As a website and business owner, that responsibility now carries more weight.
Whether you are a website or a business owner, you bear additional responsibility because you essentially contribute to hackers' ability to carry out any cyber attacks - specifically, cyber phishing. Phishing has become one of the biggest forms of cybercrime in today's digital world. Not only is cyber phishing a significant annoyance for users, it can also be quite costly for companies.
What is Phishing?
Phishing is a cyberattack where criminals trick you into sharing your personal information. They may send you an email that looks like it's from your bank or other legitimate institution, asking for your account details or login information. Don't fall for it; anticipate the malicious things that can come to your platform. Phishing is one of the most common forms of cybercrime and can be incredibly dangerous.
Cyber phishing attacks can be challenging, as criminals constantly evolve their methods to avoid detection. However, there are some common signs that you may be the target of a phishing attack, including unexpected emails or calls from unknown numbers, requests for personal or sensitive information, and links to strange or unfamiliar websites.
If you think you've been targeted by phishing, don't panic. First, be suspicious of any unsolicited email that asks for personal information. It includes emails from a friend or family member, emails that ask you to click on a link in the message, and emails that claim to be from your bank or other institution. If something feels too good to be true, it probably is.
Second, always use caution when logging into your online accounts. Always keep in mind the safety tips outlined in our guide to staying safe online: don't share your login information with anyone; use strong passwords (containing at least eight characters and including some special characters); and never enter your login credentials anywhere else other than on your computer or phone where they belong.
Finally, if you think phishing fraudsters have targeted you, don't respond blindly – report the incident to the relevant authorities immediately.
How to Detect and Avoid Phishing Attacks?
Phishing is a term used to describe trying to access someone's personal information or financial accounts online by posing as an official source. Phishers can use many methods to get your account information, from fake emails to counterfeit websites. Here are some tips on how to detect and avoid phishing:
- Look for unusual email addresses. Even if you know every person who emailed you, be suspicious of any email from an unfamiliar address. Only open it if you need to know who sent the email. And if the email contains attachments or links, don't click on them.
- Check the spelling and grammar of emails. Phishers often use poor grammar and misspelled words in their emails to make them more believable.
- Don't risk your website data. Don't enter your personal information on websites unless you know they are legitimate. If you need more clarification, do a quick Google search to see if there have been any reports of phishing attacks on the site.
Image taken from Strikingly User’s Website
- Don't trust unsolicited offers for products or services. If you don't know someone is sending you a request, be suspicious and wait to do anything until you have verified the offer with a trusted source. If you think the offer is too good for your expectations, you should always consider the “phishing” factor.
- Update your antivirus software. Keep your antivirus software up to date, and run regular computer scans. It will help to detect and remove any malware that may have been installed without your knowledge.
- Be careful of what you download. Since you are a website owner, you should only download files from trusted sources. Afterward, you can scan them with antivirus software before opening them.
- Be cautious about clicking on links in emails. Always check the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) that appears in a web browser when you click on a link in an email before clicking on it – this will usually show the genuine website where the link will take you instead of a fake website created by a phisher.
- Don't have video calls unnecessarily. Only give out your personal information over Skype or other video chat programs if you are sure who you are talking to.
- Keep your operating system and software up to date. Hackers often exploit security vulnerabilities that have been patched in newer versions of software.
Importance of Detecting Cyber Phishing
Phishing is one of the most common cybercrimes, with victims estimated to be in the tens of millions yearly. Phishing emails are sent to users to extract personal information such as login credentials or account information. This information can then be used to access victims' accounts or stolen funds.
The importance of detecting and preventing phishing cannot be overstated. Not only does it protect users' data, but it also prevents malicious actors from stealing valuable personal information.
Phishing Attack Examples
"Phishing" is derived from the verb "phished," meaning to prey on or exploit someone.
One of the most famous incidents regarding phishing scams is the "Nigerian Prince" scam. In this scam, the attacker pretends to be a Nigerian prince who needs help transferring large sums of money from the country. The victim is asked to provide personal information or to make a financial investment to help facilitate the transfer. Of course, there is no Nigerian prince, and the victim loses their money.
Phishing attacks take many forms, but they all share one common goal: stealing personal information. The most common types of phishing attacks are email phishing and website phishing. Email phishing involves sending bogus emails from reputable sources, such as your bank or email provider. Website phishing occurs when criminals attempt to trick you into visiting a fake website that looks exactly like the legitimate version but may contain hidden threats.
There are many different ways attackers can carry out a phishing attack. One popular technique is called spoofing. Spoofing refers to the ability of attackers to create forged versions of legitimate websites or emails to deceive people into revealing their personal information. Another common tactic is malware infiltration, in which hackers install malicious software on victims' computers to steal user data or install other types of malware onto their systems. Here are some other cyber attack examples on the Internet:
- Text messages. They appear to be from a trusted source but are actually from a scammer. These messages often contain links that, if clicked on, can install malware or steal personal information.
- Calls or pop-ups. They appear to be from a trusted source but are actually from a scammer. These calls or pop-ups often try to trick people into giving personal information, such as credit card numbers or login credentials.
- Social media messages. They appear to be from a friend or trusted contact but are actually from a scammer. These messages often contain links or attachments that, if clicked on, can install malware or steal personal information.
- The "fake invoice" scam. In this scam, the attacker will invoice the victim for goods or services they did not purchase. The invoice will often look very similar to a legitimate invoice from a genuine company. If the victim pays the invoice, the attacker will receive the money, and the victim will never receive the goods or services they paid for.
If you receive any communication that appears to be from a trusted source but seems fishy, do not click on links or open attachments. Instead, contact the supposed sender directly to verify the communication before taking any further action.
What to do if you are a Victim of Phishing?
Phishing attacks have no boundaries and can happen regardless of whether you are a beginner or an experienced professional. If you think you're a victim of phishing, there are a few things you should do right away:
Change your passwords. If you've clicked on a phishing link or opened a phishing email, your passwords may have been compromised. Change your passwords for all your online accounts, and use strong, unique passwords.
Image taken from Imperva
- Check for malware. If you've clicked on a phishing link, your computer may be infected with malware. Run a malware scan to check for any malicious software.
- Monitor your credit report. If you've given out your personal or financial information to a phisher, your identity could be at risk. Since you are the website owner, you must monitor your credit report regularly and look for any unusual activity.
- Report the phishing attack. If you've been the victim of a phishing attack, report it to the appropriate authorities. You can report phishing emails to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and phishing websites to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). It can help them track down the people responsible and prevent others from becoming victims.
Eliminate Cyber Attacks on Strikingly
Image taken from Strikingly
As a Strikingly website owner, you can protect visitors and customers from phishing attacks. It means that you assure your customers and visitors that any information (personal, financial, etc.) they provide you and your website is secure and cannot be accessed by third parties. It protects you and your customers from cyber attacks and is a good search engine optimization (SEO) technique.
Image taken from Strikingly
Strikingly recognizes the significance of being aware of a cyber or phishing attack. As a result, Strikingly has a form regarding phishing that anyone can fill out if they notice or witness these activities. It is an attempt to highlight how critical it is for Strikingly that all users and their users have a healthy and safe website environment. Because most Strikingly websites collect personal and private information, it can anticipate any potential phishing attack and take steps to eradicate it from their system. As a result, this form is a collaborative effort, and virtually no cyber attack can threaten anyone in this community.
GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is a European Union law that aims to regulate and unify citizens' control over their data and information. It is one of the regulations to be followed if you collect data from European Union citizens. It protects your visitors and customers from phishing attacks, among other things. Strikingly makes this process simple for website owners like you. GDPR primarily protects the personal information of EU residents in general, so phishing protection is not its sole purpose. You can accomplish this by enabling the above-mentioned settings in your site editor's legal settings. In this menu, you can enable privacy policies, terms and conditions, and cookie notifications.
Image taken from Strikingly User’s Website
Including a contact form on your website is one of the simplest and most important ways to collect contact information for you as a website owner. And as previously stated, this can be extremely dangerous for those who divulge the information. As a result, putting specific protection barriers in place is critical for the business, and Strikingly understands this. We do not allow using our platform to "solicit a third party's passwords or personal identifying information for unlawful or phishing purposes," as stated clearly in our Terms and Conditions. If you come across any phishing/malicious websites hosted on our platform, please fill out the form and report them to us. We will take down the site within 12 hours of receiving your report.
Strikingly not only provides you with hundreds of templates, but it also assists you in protecting yourself, your website, your business, and your customers. Sign up now, and let's work together to prevent phishing attacks to the best of our abilities.
Phishing is a cybercrime involving tricking someone into revealing personal information such as login credentials or financial data. Despite being one of the most popular methods hackers use, phishing remains one of the least well-understood hacker techniques because it relies heavily on social engineering tricks.
A phishing attack can happen to anyone. Email phishing attacks are usually well-crafted, and it takes a trained eye to tell the difference between the real and the fake. However, by following the tips as mentioned above, you can secure your data and website.