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Cyber criminality is on the rise, and it’s a huge global concern. Recently, we gave you advice on how to maximise cybersecurity in everyday life, but that was more general advice around avoiding online criminality as a whole. Now, we’re going into more detail and, more specifically, around one of the most common forms of cyber-criminality at the moment – phishing.
Phishing scams are nothing new. In fact, they’ve been around for a long time, but the way in which cyber-criminals are conducting their crimes are changing as technology progresses at a rapid rate and they themselves discover new and improved ways they can tap into our personal information and infiltrate our computers.
Nobody wants to fall prey to a phishing scam, but they’re disturbingly common, especially given the fact that most people conduct their lives online. It can happen to anyone, too. One minute you might be finishing off your Christmas shopping online or considering having a gaming session playing the likes of Gem Heat at www.slotsheaven.com/nz/casino-games, then the next you could open up a malicious email and, without realising, fall victim to a phishing scam by either clicking a dodgy link or entering some personal information without a second thought. It’s a horrifically spooky crime that has been around since the inception of the internet.
There are ways in which we can guard specifically against phishing scams, though. So, with that in mind, here’s a look at some effective ways to avoid phishing scams this year and beyond.
Stay in the know about phishing techniques
Like with most things, in order to combat something you need to know about it. Make sure you stay in the loop with all of the latest scams and the new phishing techniques that online criminals specialise in. Follow all of the latest cyber-crime news and even consider going on security awareness courses. New techniques are developed all of the time, which is why it’s vital to keep updated.
Install an anti-phishing toolbar
The main internet browsers of the world generally offer an anti-phishing toolbar which should give you additional peace of mind when you’re browsing the web. These toolbars check all the sites you visit and let you know if there’s any concerns with regards to phishing. If they suspect a site could be harmful, you’re immediately notified.
Check for grammatical errors or fake logos
The cyber criminals aren’t always as clever with their grammar as they are with the type of phishing software they’ve managed to create. If you ever receive an email from what you believe to be a reputable company, always make sure you check the logos of the company for accuracy and be sure to read the email carefully before carrying out any actions off the back of receiving it. Many
fake emails are riddled with grammatical errors, for example.
(Image via https://twitter.com/MBBC)
Check your online accounts regularly
We all have an array of different online accounts these days, but they can be easy to lose track of. In that instance, a cyber-criminal could hijack a dormant account and end up having a field day with it. Always change your passwords regularly, alongside checking up on any important accounts on a regular basis too. If you simply don’t use an account, delete it.
Alongside the usual antivirus software, firewalls can be incredibly helpful at combatting any phishing scams. Firewalls essentially act as a buffer between you, your computer and any cyber-criminals, therefore making it a lot harder for any criminality to be successful. Make sure you get a desktop firewall and a network firewall.