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9 Tips For Preventing Phishing Attacks On Your Personal Data

9 Tips For Preventing Phishing Attacks On Your Personal Data

This post will reveal 9 effective tips for preventing phishing attacks on your personal data. Read on!

One of the biggest cybersecurity concerns that almost every IT professional harbors is: How do I stop cyber-attacks? 

Hackers rely majorly on phishing to break into a business network and steal data. It is the most common and damaging type of cyber-attack. Due to no or low awareness of the telltale signs of phishing, hundreds of businesses, both big and small, fall victim to it.

According to findings, “Phishing attacks account for more than 80% of reported security incidents.”

It’s no secret that phishing attacks have been on the rise and are also becoming increasingly potent. On top of that, with COVID-19 causing organizations to move to remote work, the attacks have increased and impacted data privacy.

Fortunately, it is possible to identify and thwart phishing scams.

In this post, we present nine IT security measures that will help you prevent phishing and keep your business assets and data safe.

9 Effective Tips For Preventing Phishing Attacks On Your Personal Data

  1. Understand What Phishing Looks Like

Phishing techniques evolve over time, but they all share a few similarities that can be identified if you know what signs to look for. The techniques range from classic email phishing to more inventive ways such as cold calling on phone. They all have the same malicious intent though: stealing the user’s details.

If you’re serious about staying on top of the latest types of phishing tactics and understanding their signs, there is a plethora of information available online to refer to. It is important that you use these resources to proactively educate yourself about how cybercriminals target and attack their victims.

Further, you should share your learning with your employees through a well-planned cybersecurity training program. This will help your employees stay on guard against and thwart such attacks, should they be used as a means for carrying out data theft.

READ ALSO: How URL Spoofing Makes Benign Applications Deadly

2. Steer Clear of Clicking on Random Links

It is a good idea to avoid clicking on suspicious links embedded in emails and text messages, even if you receive them from a (seemingly) known sender. To stay safe, hover your mouse over the link to see if it has a known link destination, but do not click on it. Bring this event to the notice of your IT personnel immediately for further action.

Remember, sometimes the fake URL destination can look identical to a genuine website’s URL. It is set up to record keystrokes or steal sensitive information. So, never lower your guard. If you must douse your curiosity, access the original website directly or via your search engine instead of clicking on the given malicious link.

3. Invest in the Latest Anti-Phishing Software

Phishing has been a constant threat to data for a long time now. Emails are the most common vehicles that attackers use to deliver malware. So, what’s the solution to it? 

Think advanced anti-phishing software! The influx of various anti-phishing software/services has equipped users and organizations with a cybersecurity solution to prevent phishing attacks. Anti-phishing software serves as an effective layer of protection that impedes malicious attacks and safeguards your sensitive business data.

4. Avoid Revealing Information on Malicious Websites

Unsecured websites are malicious, which is why you should never enter any sensitive information on or download files from them. If you visit a website, and its URL doesn’t start with “HTTPS,” or if you don’t see a closed padlock icon next to it, you should know that the website does not have a security certificate.

READ ALSO: Session Hijacking: Everything You Need To Know

Even a website with a simple “HTTP” URL may be unsecured and gathering your data for phishing purposes. Even if it isn’t, it’s always better to be safe than sorry and avoid such websites.

5. Update Your Passwords Regularly

It is advisable to regularly change your system passwords to prevent an attacker from gaining access to your emails, payment gateways, and login portals.

The fact is, if you’re on a hacker’s list of potential targets, they may try to access your account multiple times. This is why you should change your password frequently. Doing so reduces the risk of unauthorized access and phishing attacks.

In short, adding an extra layer of protection that is updated regularly prevents ongoing attacks and locks out a potential attacker.

6. Never Ignore Security Updates

Receiving numerous updates and system messages frequently can be frustrating. However, you should pay heed to them for your own sake. 

Software manufacturers are endlessly fixing bugs and making improvements to their products. They regularly release network security updates and patches to keep you a step ahead of evolving cyber-attacks, thereby protecting your network, systems, and data from potential threats.

In other words, updating your software is crucial to enhancing the security and integrity of your systems and data.

7. Install Firewall

Among our tips for preventing phishing attacks is to install firewall.

When you use the internet, several data packets get exchanged between your device and various servers. Between these two points, there happens to be a space that scammers utilize to infiltrate your devices. A firewall monitors this space to check whether or not it is safe. 

READ ALSO: How to Securely Send Sensitive Information Over the Internet

Firewalls are an effective means to prevent external cyber-attacks. They act as shields between your computers and malware. You can boost your cybersecurity and reduce the likelihood of unauthorized access to your data by deploying desktop firewall and network firewall together.

8. Block Pop-ups

Pop-ups are not only annoying but also dangerous. They can be linked to malware as a part of a phishing attack. 

Typically, a pop-up has a “Close” or “Cancel” button on the top right-side corner. While you may click on this button to get rid of the pop-up, there’s no guarantee that doing so will actually dismiss it. The link embedded in this button can redirect you to a malicious website or lead to the download of ransomware on your system.  

The only way to stop them from “popping up” is by either installing a robust pop-up blocker or availing professional services from an expert MSP, who can fortify your data security measures.

9. Use a Robust Data Security Platform 

Data security platforms work by alerting the concerned IT authorities about any unusual user behavior and download of suspicious files. This platform helps the IT team to respond to these kind of situations sooner rather than later, thereby preventing a potential attack or data breach.

READ ALSO: How To Detect Email Phishing Attempts (Like A Geek!)

Even if a cybercriminal does gain unauthorized access to your sensitive information, data security platforms can help you identify the compromised system. This, in turn, will empower you to take preventive action to minimize further damage.

Wrapping Up

So, those are the tips for preventing phishing attacks.

While phishing tactics are becoming increasingly potent, you can protect yourself by taking timely preventive measures to safeguard your digital assets and data. Understanding the risks associated with phishing attacks and identifying the common signs can go a long way in keeping you protected from them.

Do make use of the above tips to maximize your security measures, thereby protecting your data and overall IT infrastructure from phishers and other cybercriminals. 

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Nate Freedman
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