Still think that phishing scams are nothing related to you? According to a research done by two East Carolina University graduate students, 65% of the vicious hackers used phishing attacks as their primary method to invade computers and systems.
Phishing attacks have evolved to a whole new level over the past few months. Here are three common modern tricks hackers use:
1. Slipping in while you browse the Internet
Many of us believe that it is smart enough to ensure confidentiality using the private browser. But guess what? Private browser aren’t that “private” at all. “You visit what looks like a perfectly harmless website,” said Giovanni Vigna, the co-founder of anti-malware provider Lastline Inc., “but in the background, you are redirected to a series of other sites that send you an attack.”
What can we do?
Use a trustworthy browser. Always install available updates to your browser or use a more strongly protected browser, Firefox, for example. As stated by Vigna, Internet Explorer users are the most prone to phishing attacks. If you are using IE, you may want to strengthen your firewall or simply change to another browser.
2. Sending seemingly personal emails
The old-style phishing never targeted specific individuals. They were sent to thousands of vulnerable victims, composed of spelling mistakes or garbled text. In fact, hackers do grow. Hackers nowadays target a single individual and act like they know you, known as “spear phishing”.
What can we do?
Carefully inspect the email address or any URLs attached, see if they’re fallacious or abnormal. Always be wary of suspicious attachments and links, don’t open them if you’re not a 100% confident with the source. If possible, double check with the sender and make sure they are the right people who sent you those personal emails.
3. Popping out fraudulent warnings
Are you annoyed by the pop-up windows while surfing? Don’t close them or click on them abruptly. They could be the bridge between vicious hackers and your vulnerable computer.
Some pop-ups are in the form of small icons or advertisements, while the messages are usually related to your search history, and link to other sites that show similar products or contents. Malicious pop-up windows can be highly invasive, you can hardly close them or navigate your monitor.
Another type of attackers may display fraudulent warnings, indicating that your computer is infected with virus and provide you with contact number to help clear the virus. Again, they would act like reputable companies, rationalizing their behaviors and gaining your trust.
What can we do?
Whenever there’s pop-up message, carefully read the descriptions. Look for flaws or obvious fraudulent intents, such as spelling mistakes or unprofessional images and icons. When you are doubtful of the pop-up message, don’t close the window immediately. Open your antivirus software and thoroughly scan your computer.
Example of fraudulent pop-up warnings
Cyber criminals keep improving day by day. We have to be adaptive to the ever changing world and learn how to protect our own virtual assets. Viruses come to you regardless of your age, gender, or educational background.