News about cybersecurity is often full of doom for businesses and consumers, with frequent leaks, high-profile data breaches, and ever more sophisticated hackers. However, October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, so now is a good time to brush up on how to protect yourself in the digital world and other basic tools for improving the security of your data.
An infographic from Digital Guardian provides a guide for identifying and avoiding phishing attacks. Unlike hacking, phishing is usually a confidence scam, where a cyber criminal will attempt to make users or employees believe they are a legitimate source. This can lead to leaks of personal information, or open vectors for malware to penetrate secure systems.
Phishing attacks often follow similar patterns. Whether the fraudsters cast a wide net, target a small group within an organization through spear phishing or try to gain access by attacking executive-level employees, the methods should be fairly easy to spot.
In email phishing attacks, there are a number of indicators that should raise suspicion. Compressed email attachments, scare tactics, imitation of a known brand or spoofed links (similar but incorrect links to known sources) should all be investigated before you take action. Pay careful attention to sender details and addresses.
SMS phishing is used to crack two-factor authentication. If your phone number or email address readily available online, scammers initiate a password reset, then text users asking for the reset code sent to their email.
Another form of cyber attack is social media impersonation, wherein social bots act like real users while posting malicious links, or scammers pose as existing users in an attempt to gain personal data from their friends. These tactics are used to to spread malware.
Check out the infographic below for more tips on protecting yourself, your organization and your data.