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How to Protect Yourself Against Phishing Scams

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Phishing scams are one of the most destructive threats you can face online and have become prevalent in recent years.

This is because phishing scams are extremely easy to set up and implement. After all, email addresses and social media accounts are very simple to find, making it easy for hackers to target victim’s accounts.

The results can be devastating. Phishing attackers often steal their victim’s bank details, sensitive data stored on their devices, personal identity and even infiltrate their computer with ransomware.

Thankfully, you can use a number of effective strategies to safeguard yourself from these harmful attacks.

Here’s how to protect yourself against phishing scams:

Improve Your Knowledge of Internet Scams

As with any potential challenge or threat you face, the best way to defend yourself is to understand more about it. One of the main reasons why many people fall victim to phishing scams is that they either don’t know they exist or don’t know what they usually look like.

This is because, unlike ‘real life’ thieves, internet thieves hide behind a computer, and it is almost impossible to tell who they actually are.

This ignorance forms the very basis of phishing scams. These attackers pretend to be trustworthy sources – whether banks, the government, popular services, or even private individuals. They work by luring the victim with a tempting offer or ‘mistake’. For instance, they could pretend to be the taxman offering a tax return after an accidental miscalculation.

While everybody would like to receive these emails, they are almost always scams.

Once you understand how these scams operate, it is far easier to protect yourself against them. To find out more about the dangers of phishing scams and how to prevent them, visit Proofpoint.

Pay Close Attention to Who You’re Expecting to Hear From

One of the best ways to protect yourself against harmful phishing scams is to keep track of who you’re expecting to hear from. If you are not expecting a message from your bank about an upcoming payment, the government about the end of the tax year, or even a company you sometimes deal with, then it is naturally more suspicious when they contact you out of the blue.

Unfortunately, many people are too busy to keep track of their communications, leading them to presume that they have forgotten to ‘pay their tax returns’, for example.

Instead, keep track of your payments and communications, and you will be significantly less likely to fall for a phishing scam.

Use an Effective Anti-Malware System

Of course, one of the most basic safeguards against phishing scams is to use an effective antivirus software service. Regularly scan your devices for signs of vulnerability or malware, and keep on top of your saved files, downloads, and antivirus provider subscription.

The Devil is in the Detail

Once you understand the nature of phishing scams and the psychological manipulation tactics behind them, it is simpler to recognize a harmful email or message.

For instance, it is very rare for a bank, government, or insurance company to text you unsolicited. They will also address you in a certain manner and never ask you to hand over your payment details on the spot.

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