How to avoid Phishing Websites in 2020?
What is Phishing?
Phishing is a type of technique used by the cyber crooks to trick users into providing their login credentials. In phishing campaigns, cyber criminals use spoofed websites and lookalikes of legitimate websites to trick users into giving away their login credentials. Although there are more sophisticated ways, a hacker can steal user credentials, but the phishing is probably the most easiest way of doing the job. Cyber criminals take advantage o certain conditions to run their campaigns such as phishing emails.
As the world is going through a lock down state, cyber criminals took the opportunity to launch phishing campaigns. Every year millions of users accounts on popular platforms such as social media websites are compromised in phishing campaigns. Hackers redirect users to their spoofed web links instead of legitimate ones and trick the users to fill in their credentials. Once, you have been a victim of phishing, there will be serious consequences of that, such as, you may be locked out of your account.
As most of the cyber crime operations are motivated by monetary benefits, most of the phishing campaigns are also centered around financial services. PayPal has remain the most favorite target of phishers to trick users. Almost several hundred fake PayPal links are generated by the criminals and blocked by the security companies.
Let's dive into the real business, that is the tricks to outsmart criminals in spotting phishing links.
1. First thing to spot a phishing website is to look for the spellings in the address bar of your browser. Most of the times cyber crooks register their domains with a slight change in the URL of actual website. For example faceboook.com will certainly land you on a phishing website.
2. The website in the picture below is a legitimate PayPal website? If your answer is yes, then please, have a look at the address bar. Your answer is still yes? No, because it is a strange URL that is not definitely the legitimate URL of PayPal. That is why we are advising you to double check the address bar of the browser before entering username and password.
3. Verify that the website is using a valid SSL certificate. SSL certificates provides the authentication that the publisher of website is known entity. To verify simply look for the green padlock sign in the left most corner of the address bar as depicted in the below figure. However, it is not a perfect sign of spotting a phishing website because hackers can use stolen certificates for their spoofed domains as well. But it is still a good sign to check before entering payment information on any website.
4. Each website on the internet is required to register its domain. Record of all the registered domains on the internet is maintained to keep the internet safer for general public. It is a good idea to perform a whois lookup of the website before entering credentials. Googling the keyword "whois lookup" will provide you plenty of free options to check who is the owner of a particular domain or the country of origin.
5. Another trick used by most of the phishing websites is the use of fake secure payment shields. You may come across the following security shields on almost every website dealing with online payment systems. However, simply displaying the shields does not guarantee the authenticity of the website. To verify the authenticity of each shield, click on the shield and it should take you to the provider of the seal. If the shield icons cannot be clicked that is definitely a sign of phishing scam.
6. There are two ways of avoiding phishing websites. First one is to use the above mentioned techniques to steer away from phishing websites. But the catch is it is not always that easy to spot a phish. The best way is to use some security software from renowned security solutions providers that provide efficient phishing protection. Free security software lack this feature. Phishing protection capabilities are included in premium security suites. We believe that security is a necessity and everyone must be protected against phishing scams. You can find some security suites at best discounts here https://serialcart.com/?aff=Muhammad+Umar
Enjoy! a phishing free browsing experience. Outsmart Hackers and cyber crooks.