In 2020, phishing attacks emerged as the most prevalent form of cybercrime, affecting approximately 75% of businesses worldwide. Chances are, you have encountered one yourself without even realizing it. These deceptive attacks can originate from various sources, masquerading as your boss, a family member, or a well-known company. Notably, Microsoft, DHL, LinkedIn, and Amazon are among the frequently impersonated brands.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, phishing attacks have skyrocketed by over 600%, primarily targeting sectors such as healthcare, manufacturing, education, technology, and business services.
To protect yourself, it is crucial to be aware of the following common indicators of phishing attempts:
- Requests for Personal Information: Legitimate companies rarely solicit extensive personal details via email. If you receive an email asking for sensitive information like your bank account password or debit card PIN, exercise caution and refrain from sharing such data. When in doubt, you can always contact your bank or the purported sender directly to verify the authenticity of the request.
- Fake Links and Attachments: Phishing emails typically include links or attachments that redirect you to malicious websites. To verify the legitimacy of these links, double-check their spelling, hover your cursor over them without clicking, and be cautious of URLs containing "@" symbols. Additionally, scrutinize the sender's email address for any irregularities.
- Sense of Urgency: Beware of emails that employ coercive tactics, demanding immediate payment or threatening severe consequences if you fail to comply. Reputable businesses do not exert excessive pressure on recipients to pay urgently. Pay attention to the tone of the email as well. If the language seems unusual for the purported sender, such as phrases like "I'm counting on you to pay this immediately," it should raise a red flag.
The most effective measures to avoid falling victim to phishing scams include regularly updating your passwords and systems, utilizing anti-phishing browser add-ons, and installing firewalls or other anti-phishing software. While it may be tempting to respond promptly to emails, especially those with links or attachments, it is crucial to take a moment to pause and verify their legitimacy.
At Systemverse, we recognize the gravity of falling prey to phishing attacks, which is why we offer email phishing training. Reach out to [email protected] to enhance your defenses against such threats.