DBA Tech advisory

Phishing: What is it and how to recognise an attack

what is phishing and how can you recognise an attack

What is Phishing?

Phishing is a type of cyber fraud. Phishers use various techniques to gain access to your sensitive information – e.g. passwords, credit card and billing information, etc.

Phishers often pose as employees or representatives of legitimate businesses or authoritative organisations. They steal your personal information using the Internet, communication tools, e.g. text messages, chatbot, or social media.

Phishers use your information to expand their criminal range. They may use your information to steal directly from your bank account or buy expensive items. They also steal other people’s identities, and victimise people from your personal and business network through stalking, extortion, or blackmail.

Typically, phishers use marketing strategies to “bait” victims to give up their personal information.  The most common phishing techniques use emails. The emails contain links that, once clicked, will automatically download a virus onto your device or computer. Or it will take you to website where you would be asked to confirm your login or credit card details.

Phishers also use an urgent tone in their messages to make you believe that you need to take action, immediately. For example, an email saying you have still have an unpaid item. Or maybe an email saying you need to update your account information to continue the service.

Also, phishers use messages that appeal to emotion. Have you ever received an email asking you to donate to HIV infected children in Africa? Or maybe donations asking you to help people in COVID-19 affected countries?

Yes, those are examples of phishing emails.  

How to recognise an attack?

The rise of Phishing victims over the past years has been quite alarming. Cyber crime experts have noticed that phishers are becoming bolder with their attacks. Recently, phishers are even using the spread of the COVID-19 to attack unknowing victims. The phishing scheme involves sending out phishing emails with links or attachments supposedly containing COVID-19 updates, but is actually malware.

To help you spot an attack, ask yourself these questions first before clicking a link in a suspicious email.

what is phishing and how can you recognise an attack

Now that you know how to spot a phishing email, we hope that you can avoid being a victim. In addition, when you receive a suspicious email, immediately report it to your cyber crime division. 

But, if you accidentally clicked the link or think your personal information has been compromised, contact your financial institution immediately.

By becoming more vigilant, you can help stop the spread of phishing emails. Moreover, you can guarantee the the safety of your client’s data.

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