Cybercriminals are always looking for opportunities, and they target businesses as well as individuals. One popular strategy they use is phishing. There are several types of phishing, all created to get access to sensitive information.
Phishing is an online attack where someone tries to persuade the victim to disclose sensitive personal information voluntarily. Cybercriminals use an uncanny variety of narratives and fabricated stories to make their requests look legitimate. Scammers often use techniques such as social engineering, link imitation, or malware such as keyloggers, trojans, and computer worms to obtain information, including credit card numbers or passwords. While there are many phishing methods, these are some of the most common.
Social media phishing is widespread because most people have social media accounts. Phishers try to steal confidential information or gain control of your social network access.
This often happens on Instagram, for example. Hackers can create fake Instagram login pages, so when you log in, they have your username and password. They can now send messages posing as you to try and gather personal information about you. A hacker can even change your login information and lock you out.
Other types of phishing on social media include scammers sending messages with links to confirm your account information or hackers posing as a company or representative asking for personal information in return for a free product or discount. Sometimes scammers offer to add followers to your account if you pay them.
Smishing is a phishing attack perpetrated through text messaging or SMS. Phishers take the time to make it look like the message is coming from a well-known or reliable institution. This could be from a bank, the Social Security Administration, or another company informing you that you have won an award. The message asks you to click a link or call a phone number where they will try and get your personal information.
Vishing is a scam that can affect individuals and businesses. The attack takes place through a phone call. A well-trained criminal speaks with you on the phone, making it hard to tell whether or not the call is a scam. This can make it trickier to discern than other types of phishing.
These con artists speak authoritatively and can pose as government employees, vendors, partners, or suppliers to get sensitive information. The scammer asks for payment or information to complete an order or important paperwork.
Phishing attacks are very prevalent by email. Phishers send emails designed to look exactly like emails from your bank, work, or other important entity. They try to get you to click a link on the page to reset your password, open a document, or something similar. This link typically leads to malware, which can extract information from your computer or give the hacker access to your information system.
Protecting yourself or your business from these types of phishing is no small task. Phishing can have dire consequences. The best safeguards include staying informed about cyber attacks and hiring professionals to help prevent and identify them. Reach out to us to see how we can help keep you, your technology, and all your information safe.