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Experts believe that the advancement of technology has contributed to the increase in cybercrime rates in many ways. Software is much more smart and quick than ever before, while devices are multi-functional and can perform multiple tasks and processes simultaneously. This has greatly increased human dependency on such devices.
Additionally, the covid-19 has forced every business and organization to shift to the virtual world. Working from home became taxing, so companies designed their online portals to make team coordination easier and quicker. Employees share valuable information on it every step of the way.
Similarly, banks have given more ease to their customers by launching well-designed applications that have relieved the customers of carrying cash. During the pandemic, there was a boom in online shopping, even for groceries. People shopped through different web applications and made money transactions in one click.
Of course, a password protects every account, but the companies have been striving to improve security. At the end of the day, many loopholes enable hackers and cyber attackers to break into the system and steal valuable information. In Singapore alone, at least 469 people suffered from phishing scams in December 2021. The total reported losses were $8.5 billion! Not only that, a great percentage of this amount disappeared within two weeks!
Hence, businesses need to search for IT Support Singapore and avail of the services a well-reputed IT firm offers. These companies provide unlimited support, routine system, security, and hardware check. Their virtual presence helps businesses secure their systems and protect against any cyber-attack.
What is a Phishing Attack?
A phishing attack is a socially engineered attack where the attacker tricks and manipulates the victim into providing valuable and sensitive information or installing malware (viruses, spyware, etc.). Many hackers pretend to be representatives from organizations and trick customers into giving passwords. CISCO’s 2021 Cybersecurity Threat Trends report reveals that 90% of data breaches occur due to phishing attacks. There was a 7.3% increase in email-based attacks during the pandemic. Since organizations’ data is extremely important, companies are compelled to pay huge ransom sums to secure their data and avoid its leakage.
It is very natural to fall for such scams. But these attacks always share some commonalities. If you are vigilant, it is very easy to tell them apart. While software vendors are working day and night to combat such attacks, as an individual, you can play your part too. In this article, we have listed down ways to avoid getting scammed by such attacks.
1. Stay up-to-date
Thanks to Social Media, phishing attacks have become the talk of the town quickly. People share the details of how they were scammed and instruct others to stay alert. Many websites can keep you informed of the key identifiers of these attacks. Checking social media or such websites regularly can help you avoid such attacks.
2. Never click on a link
You often get suspicious emails or messages on your messaging apps or cellular number. These messages contain a link that sometimes seems very genuine. It usually is accompanied by some catchy text about winning a prize or some latest offer that intrigues the user to click on it. The first step is to avoid clicking it. You can cross-check it by contacting that particular company or visiting the real website yourself. But it is always recommended to ignore such messages and emails altogether. You can also check the sender’s email address or that of the person who messaged you. Usually, such messages are automatically sent without the sender knowing. Asking them can clarify that this indeed was a scam.
3. Get anti-phishing add-ons
Many browsers now provide such add-ons that take the latest information from anti-phishing websites and study trends of the attacks. These add-ons quickly spot a phishing attack and can alert you. These are usually free and can be very beneficial.
4. Never share your information
Whether you receive a phone call from a person pretending to be working for an organization or an email, which asks for your sensitive information, never share it. You can check the website’s security certificate or check the URL. If it does not start with “https:” or does not have a closed lock symbol with it, the website isn’t secure. Avoid sharing any information there.
5. Change passwords regularly
It can be exhausting to remember passwords. Especially now as all the devices you use are synced, and you may have already logged into most accounts. But regularly changing passwords can help you in making your accounts more secure. Similarly, always opt for passwords that do not have any details that people might know of, like your birthday, address, or contact number. Your password should be well-thought and contain multiple data types to avoid guessing attempts.
6. Always update your applications
Updates usually are annoying. But this is the vendor’s way of improving the security of your accounts and the application overall. These updates are a way of fighting against the new phishing trends. Regularly updating the applications and browsers can help save your devices and data.
7. Antivirus and Firewalls
Installing firewalls and antiviruses on your devices and keeping them updated can majorly help you in keeping your data safe. These applications are designed to spot viruses and scams and protect your device against them.
8. Close all pop-ups and ads
Many applications and software allow external advertisements and pop-ups to show when used. These are very tricky, and one tap or click anywhere on the screen can redirect you to the malware. Sometimes, the “close” button is also a trick. Always look for the “x” and never be tempted to click on them, no matter how intriguing they may be.
9. Hire data security companies and professionals
Companies need to be more vigilant to protect their data. Many platforms offer such services. This way, you can reduce the burden on your IT team. Appropriate anti-phishing software, add-ons or applications can help but hiring professionals who deal with such attacks is always a plus.
Every situation arises with its pros and cons. Likewise, technology has eased a lot for us, but you can not ignore its darker side. Hackers and phishing attackers are constantly scamming people and organizations. The advancement in machine language and artificial intelligence has enabled businesses and individuals to take pre-emptive measures to avoid cyber-attacks. Yet the statistics are still worrying. Individuals can save their precious data and protect their devices against phishing attacks and scams by being vigilant and careful. It only requires taking little steps.