In 2021, there have been more phishing attacks than ever before. It is introduced as a form of social engineering to steal information from users. In this event, many online users are often targeted by phishing emails.

Even if you don’t know anything about technology or computer, you can quickly identify those emails as long as you know what they look like. Everyone must be aware of this technique since it is now more common than ever before.

What is Phishing?

Phishing is a method used by cybercriminals to obtain information from users under the disguise of another user. In most cases, phishing emails use an email address from a trusted company or website.

In order to steal your credit card number, password, or other sensitive information in a few minutes, they trick you into clicking on a link that seems trustworthy and then enter info into a fake form that looks exactly like the real one. It has been reported that 99% of all phishing attacks succeeded since there are so many victims out there every day.

Who are The Victims of a Phishing Attack?

There are many kinds of people who are targeted by phishing. For example, all age groups, including young students to senior citizens, can be victims if they don’t know what a phishing email is. Since cybercriminals are constantly evolving their methods, everyone should be aware that these kinds of emails are everywhere nowadays.

How to Detect a Phishing Email?

With only 1 in 100 people can identify quick enough if it’s a scam or not, it’s much easier for hackers to succeed when doing this kind of attack against you. So here are five ways to detect a phishing email.

Pay Attention to the Sender’s Address

When you receive an email from someone, you should know their name or email address at least. If it’s not familiar, don’t open it and delete the mail immediately since the person who sent that message may not be who they say they are. In addition, if there is a link in this kind of email, avoid clicking on them because hackers would hunt for victims by sending links that lead to malicious websites or apps.

Look for Misspellings and Inaccuracies

Highly reputable companies use their official email addresses when sending emails to you, such as help@facebookmail.com or support@outlook.com. So, you should immediately know if the email contains some spelling mistakes, whether it’s a website address or email address.

Be Suspicious of Urgent Requests

Phishers use urgency to trick you into taking quick actions, especially for money transfer purposes. For example, if the content of an email shows that an account will be locked soon or there is a password reset required within hours, don’t panic and ignore the message because you are too vulnerable in such conditions.

Never Click on Links Within Emails

If you can’t see any option to download attachments in emails from your bank, then the chances are they send out this kind of spammy email. Same as above, never click on any link inside those mails since must be malicious websites behind them.

Keep Your Eye Out for Suspicious URLs

Online users are suggested to always hover their cursor over links before clicking on them to check where they would actually take you. If you notice that the URL shown is different from the actual address, it’s most likely an attempt of phishing since hackers do this to steal information when you’re entering personal data into fake forms.

What Should You Do When You Receive a Phishing Email?

The best way to deal with this kind of spammy email is to delete them and not take any action. However, if you do receive a message from your bank or another company that claims they will lock your account soon, make sure you directly contact their support and give them a call as well.

What Should You Do if You’ve Been Phished?

If you’ve clicked on a malicious link within an email and ended up on a phishing site, it’s better not to panic and immediately take action.

Change your Credit Card Number

The first thing to do is change your credit card number as soon as possible. Then, contact the bank where this account has been open and clear the charges that were taken for money transfer or anything else. You can also check if there are any other unauthorized charges that might have come from shopping online or through apps like Facebook Messenger.

Write Down All of Your Account Data

It is essential to write down all of your passwords and security details in one place, so you don’t need to memorize them anymore. If it’s too hard, use a password manager to help you out.

Report it to the Police immediately

After dealing with your personal details, inform law enforcement about this case so they can track down hackers who are making phishing attacks and illegally stealing information. They may not be able to recover all of your stolen money, but it would be helpful for other online users.

Run a Background Check on Yourself

When you run a background check on yourself, you can see if any other accounts have been opened in your name without your knowledge. If yes, then you should alert bank or credit card companies, close them and change your passwords immediately.

The Bottom Line

The most important thing that you should always keep in mind is that if something really urgent needs your attention, don’t click on links within emails or calls asking for passwords, etc. It would be better for you to deal with it directly via the official website or numbers provided by each company instead of following suspicious links and requests.

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