Common people may have fun fishing for fish, but cybercriminals across the internet are busy phishing for your most confidential information. What is phishing, and how can it affect you? Read on to find out how you can stay safe!

Phishing is a technique used by cybercriminals to steal your confidential information such as passwords and credit card numbers by disguising themselves as trustworthy sources in various forms of e-communication.  Various techniques used by phishers, including link manipulation and website forgery, which are the most commonly used methods.

Link manipulation is a widely used technique, and it has to do with making links in an email or website seem as if it takes you to a legitimate website, but actually redirects you to the phishing website. This website is usually a forgery of the legitimate website, meaning the look and feel are extremely similar to the original. The phishing website will then ask for sensitive information, and the user is fooled thinking that they are entering their confidential information (such as online banking account info) into the legitimate website, when in fact this sensitive information is being sent to the pisher.

For an example of link manipulation, open the following link in a new tab or window: http://securaid.com/index.php .
The link makes it seem as if it is taking you to our homepage, when it is actually taking you to Google. This same trick is used by link manipulators when sending out phishing emails. The email would seem as if it is coming from a trusted source, and would ask you to verify your password or sensitive information. The link, which looks to be from the legitimate source, would take you elsewhere.

The most popular targets for such link manipulation and fake email phishing, according to reputable security corporation Kaspersky, are:

kasperksy phishing

In fact, there is a success rate of over 70% for phishing attacks for social networks. It is extremely important to stay cautious with such cybercriminals waiting to pounce on your identity. How do you know if an email is a phishing attempt? There are usually spelling mistakes and bad grammar – these are some things cybercriminals are usually poor at. As previously mentioned, watch out for links in emails. To stay safe, copy and paste the link that you see, or hover over the link and the actual URL will show up at one of the bottom corners of your browser. Only continue clicking the link if it’s legitimate.

Practically everyone is guilty unless proven innocent on the internet.  If the email or website seems suspicious, then it could be a phishing scam. Administer utmost care when entering confidential information on the internet.

 

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