Phishing refers to one of the oldest and most effective kinds of digital security threats. According to CSO, these scams accounted for at least 80 percent of all reported security problems.
Often with fraudulent emails, text messages, websites, or even phone calls, criminals will pretend to represent a trusted organization. They use these messages to trick people into revealing private information. Find out more about typical phishing scams and better ways to guard against them.
Digital thieves cleverly design phishing scams to appeal to the receiver's emotions. Some common examples might include email or text messages like this:
An email message might ask the recipient to follow a link that's been disguised to look like it leads to a legitimate website. Very often, the thieves will do a good job of making both the original message and the website spoof a legitimate organization.
If the victim completes the action of logging in or supplying information, they will actually send their data right to a cybercriminal's database. A thief might use this information to steal money, identities, or more valuable data. They might even sell stolen credentials multiple times on the black market. CSO reported that people and businesses lose over $17,000 each minute because of phishing attacks.
Digital criminals have grown very clever. Spoofed websites, fraudulent messages, and fake links have fooled many smart people. That's partly because the original messages tend to evoke emotions that may make computer users drop their guard and act impulsively.
The best ways to guard against these scams include: