Phishing scams are always trendy but during holiday seasons, when everyone is checking their email for a new hot promo discount or sale offer, their impact is higher than ever. You might think: Come on, everyone can recognize an email scam-but don't fool yourself. Hackers are learning every day new tricks and tactics. therefore phishing scams have become more sophisticated than few years back. So, while you are opening an email from your favorite vendor with a hot deal info, totally not thinking about safety, a malicious surprise might be waiting in the background to spice up your holiday mood.
They are even going for big names. Just recently the Amazon scam showed how phishing can be dangerous.
The sneaky part of this scam is that it will redirect you to the real Amazon page once you enter the required sensitive data. The hacker got all needed information and you stay clueless.
So, what is phishing?
Phishing is widely used among cyber criminals since it is one of the most effective cyber criminal tools. The scammer is basically pretending to be a totally legitimate site or entity in order to trick you to click either on a malicious link, enter some sensitive data or to download a malicious file and etc. Their primary goal is to get your private data such us password credentials, bank card details and other.
This is another example how a phishing scam looks like:
During holiday season you should beware of fake purchase invoices, hot deals delivered via emails, fake links/URLs and fake surveys. Always keep this in mind while checking your e-mail inbox.
How to avoid phishing scams?
You should learn how to identify phishing emails. Keep in mind that scammers always duplicate the image of a real company and that they include information from the employee and company as copied.
If you find it as suspicious but you are not sure, you should identify the email source by checking the IP address or by checking with the company itself.
If you receive an email from a bank with an included link- Don't click! Banks never ask from you to reveal your sensitive data via emails and they never ever include links in their emails. If you receive a email from your bank where they ask you to click on a link it might direct you to a malicious website.
Install a security tool that will always inform you if your computer is at risk. So once you open an email or click on that link the tool will immediately notify you that you have clicked on a malicious link and than it will bock it before it runs. See more here.
Communicate only with websites that begin with ‘https://’. That shows that the website is safe and that all the data you submit is processed safely.
So, make sure that you always check your accounts for any irregularities and remember that if you have a slightest doubt in the validity of an email-don't open it.
Don't forget to install a security software that will be your silent safeguard so, even if you don't recognize a phishing email and by accident you open one, the security software will always keep your back and stop you from being infected.
Happy Safe Holidays!