27 October, 2016

Phishing is a common form of online identity theft that involves sending fraudulent emails in order to steal the target user’s personal information, credit card details, social security number and other sensitive data. A phishing email is crafted to look legitimate and often creates a sense of urgency to instigate immediate action from the receiver. However, despite the increasing number of phishing attacks, many people are not able to identify fraudulent emails and get tricked into giving out their personal information.

Given below are some frequently asked questions that will help you avoid becoming a victim of phishing attack:

How do I identify a phishing email?

Cybercriminals send out phishing emails masqueraded to be sourced from a legitimate entity, such as a bank or credit card company. Although these emails can be recognized easily by poor grammar and hoaxed email addresses, some of the phishing attempts can be highly sophisticated. The typical characteristics of a phishing email are that they create a sense of urgency and require the user to update his bank account information. Also, fraudulent emails do not address the sender by his name.

What should I do if I receive phishing email?

If you receive a phishing email, make sure you delete it without opening, particularly if it contains any links or attachments. You must remember that banks and financial institutions do not ask for sensitive information over emails. In case you have any doubt regarding the authenticity of the email, contact the sender directly.

How do hackers get my email address?

In most cases, the hackers do not know your email address. They simply send out the emails to randomly generated addresses so that they are likely to reach some customers of a specific bank or credit card company. The hackers may also detect an unprotected email server and send out phishing messages to the addresses on it.

What should I do if I have been scammed by a phisher?

If you suspect being a victim of phishing attack, immediately change your login credentials for the online accounts that may have been potentially compromised. Review your financial statements to identify any unauthorized activity. Inform your bank or credit card provider and request them to block all online transactions from your account.

Centex Technologies is a leading IT security company in Central Texas. For more information on phishing attacks, feel free to call us at (855) 375 – 9654.