The Dangers of Phishing and How to Protect Yourself

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The Dangers of Phishing and How to Protect Yourself

The Dangers of Phishing and How to Protect Yourself

There are so many benefits we all enjoy using the internet. However, just like any other thing, there are some dangers that we must take into account. One of the main problems that cybersecurity experts have had to face in recent years has been the proliferation of increasingly sophisticated and malicious forms of malware (or computer viruses).

In this article, we would look at phishing, how to recognize it and how to protect yourself.

Phishing or identity theft

Phishing is a cybercrime perpetrated with the aim of getting hold of your confidential information, including bank account numbers, cards and PIN,  all with the intention of using them to commit some type of fraud .


The most common form of threat is through emails in which the cybercriminal is posing as a person, entity or company that we trust. A good example is a bank. The cybercriminal might pose as a bank official and ask you to confirm certain confidential information, inform you that your account will be blocked if you do not perform the required action, request that you initiate a session through a link or that you download an attachment. This way, the user, believing that it is a trusted site, enters the requested information that, in reality, goes to the scammer.

There are other much less widespread forms of phishing. There is the case of SMS that contain a fraudulent link that encourages being opened, which is known as smishing, or even through a telephone call in which the cybercriminal is posing as a bank official and requests a series of personal data. This last form is known as vishing.

In addition, there is a form of "enhanced" phishing known as spear phishing in which the attack is aimed at specific people (unlike traditional phishing, which is usually a massive attack on a base of addresses). These people usually have full access to large amounts of data and confidential information, as is the case of the security officers of many companies.

Why Do We Fall For Phishing Attempts?

One of the reasons why we fall into the hands of cybercriminals is that these attacks are increasingly sophisticated. Some even perfectly copy the style and image of the company they impersonate.

However, we have to keep in mind that one other important is ignorance on the part of the user. Not knowing the possible risks means falling more easily into the trap. To protect yourself against cybercrime, education in cybersecurity is of great importance.

How Can We Avoid Phishing?

The basic thing to protect against these types of threats is to have a good updated antivirus. This will prevent in most cases that spam arrives in our main inbox. If this is done, the risk would be reduced. Also use mail services that detect spammy emails easily. Gmail is a good example.

Below we offer a series of tips that will be useful to avoid phishing:

  • Always verify who the sender is before opening any email that seems suspicious.

  • Do not answer any questionnaire that requests confidential information through email.

  • Do not enter the website of  your bank through an email.

  • Do not open any link that seems strange to you. One way to check the security of the link is to write it manually in your search engine header. 

  • Check the activities in your accounts periodically.

  • Learn to identify malicious emails. Spelling mistakes and strange wording can be indications of phishing. In addition, these types of criminals usually use gifts or promotions as a hook.

  • Finally, remember that banks and other secure entities never ask for confidential information through email. So, a good way to avoid problems is to directly contact the entity that sends you the message to verify if it is a reliable message.

Keep your information safe at all times. There are so many phishers out there, but these tips will help you protect yourself.

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