Phishing: How do scammers try to deceive you and how to protect yourself from this?

September 12, 2023  14:24

Phishing is a very common type of Internet fraud today, the purpose of which is to gain access to confidential user data -- logins, passwords, bank accounts, and so on. In Armenia, this type of fraud is also very common today: almost every user receives potentially dangerous links from time to time. Tech shares useful information about what phishing is, how it works and what you can do to avoid becoming a victim of scammers.

What is Phishing?

Phishing is a type of cyberattack where scammers impersonate trusted entities, such as banks, companies, or government agencies, to deceive individuals into revealing sensitive information like passwords, credit card numbers, or personal details. The term "phishing" is a play on words, as scammers are "fishing" for your valuable information.

How Phishing Works

Phishing attempts usually begin with a fraudulent email, text message, or website that appears legitimate. Scammers often use clever tactics to make these messages look convincing. They may mimic official logos, email addresses, or website designs to trick you into thinking you're dealing with a trusted source.

Once you interact with the phishing message—by clicking a link, downloading an attachment, or providing personal information—the scammers gain access to your data. They can use this information for various malicious purposes, such as stealing your identity, committing financial fraud, or launching further cyberattacks.

Protecting Yourself from Phishing Scams

Phishing is a persistent threat in the digital world, but with vigilance and awareness, you can protect yourself and your personal information.

Here are some simple yet effective ways to protect yourself from phishing:

  1. Stay Informed: Keep yourself updated on the latest phishing techniques and scams. Awareness is your first line of defense.
  2. Double-Check the Source: Always verify the sender's email address and the URL of websites you visit. Be cautious of slight misspellings or unusual domain names.
  3. Avoid Clicking Suspicious Links: Hover your mouse cursor over links in emails or messages to see the actual URL before clicking. If something looks suspicious, don't click it.
  4. Don't Share Sensitive Information: Legitimate organizations will never ask for sensitive information like passwords or credit card numbers via email. Be skeptical of such requests.
  5. Use Reliable Security Software: Install reputable antivirus and anti-phishing software to help detect and block phishing attempts.
  6. Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Whenever possible, enable 2FA for your online accounts. This adds an extra layer of security.

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