Phishing is any attempt that is being made towards obtaining sensitive personal information from somebody, including log in information and credit card details. Phishing has been growing in frequency and importance over time and this is definitely something worth frowning upon, as there are quite many different problems emerging from such cases. Imagine you were intercepted a large amount of money from your banking account, simply because you were caught off guard and you did not pay attention to the signs of phishing!
According to various reports, such as that of Kaspersky Lab for the 1st Quarter of 2014, there are abundant incidents of phishing attacks targeting mainly emails and online searches. Among the countries with the heaviest phishing activity, we find the US, China and South Korea, as well as Russia.
Especially when it comes to smart phones, there are major vulnerabilities that phishing professionals try to take full advantage of. In avoidance of such vulnerabilities, you ought to make sure that you have got everything it takes for protecting your precious device. Below, we are going to have a look at how to secure your smartphone, after having identified the most frequent cases of phishing on the web. This is vital knowledge, in order to guarantee your digital survival!
When Does It Smell …Phishy?
There are certainly some red flags that should put you off from believing the content of an email, an attachment, an application or even a phone call. Let’s see what should ring a bell and make you think twice before actually deciding to take the content of something you have received as valid and legitimate:
- Great Promises and Unbelievable Luck: As they say, if it is too good to be true, then it probably is! If you open an email from an un-trusted source and you find out that you have won a large amount of money doing nothing, you should prepare yourself for the possibility of being lied to.
- Email etc. Wrongly Spelled: Although making a minor mistake does not necessary qualify as being scam, getting an email full of grammatical errors and misspellings is able to reveal the suspicious nature of such a form of communication.
- Requests of Donations: If you are sent an email requesting of you to donate some money, you should be really careful. The chances are that you will be intercepted any personal information you may add at the donation form.
- Suspicious Links and Websites: The email you have just opened includes a suspicious link and, when you click on it, you are redirected to an unsecured site without any padlock or HTTPS. This is a negative factor that you ought to keep an eye on!
- Threatening Sound: If there is any threat, either direct or indirect, as to your account and its viability, you should be alarmed. It seems that fear feeds on threats and this is what makes phishing effective as a method of intercepting sensitive data.
- Personal Information Request: If you are requested to reveal any personal information (including the PIN of your credit card or your e-banking credentials), you should resist the temptation and not go ahead with revealing such info!
Smart Phone Security and Details
Now that we have outlined some of the most frequent details that should keep you on alert as to the malicious content and the suspicious purposes of what you have been sent as an email, an app, an attachment or IM, it is high time we talked about how you can protect yourself! Smart phone security is not that hard to accomplish, if you are determined to focus on the details of your overall online protection. Let’s have a closer look and dig deeper as to how to secure your mobile phone promptly and effectively:
- Update Your Anti-Virus and OS: We bet that you hear that way too often, but it is by far the most crucial part of your cell phone security. You need to make sure that you have got up to date anti-virus software that is fully compatible with the device you use. The same goes for your OS, so as to ensure that everything has been up to date with the latest versions of malware, spyware and of course phishing activities.
- Research Apps Prior to Downloading Them: It would be prudent to download apps only from Google Play Store or App Store, instead of third parties. In this way, the apps are generally monitored and you eliminate the threat of downloading something phishy.
- App Permissions and Great Attention: Feel free to research the app permissions you grant upon the downloading of each and every single app. Only in this method can you rest assured that you have not allowed something, without actually understanding what you have done.
- Use Your Judgment: Make sure that you think before you act. This includes using your thinking, in order to interpret whether or not an email or any other attachment is valid and legit. When something seems wrong, you do not need to wait any longer. Instead, you ought to clear this out once and for all!
- Do Not Use Links: If you have received an email from your bank, it can be tempting to click on the respective link and get redirected to your account. Still, it would be wise of you to choose the other way and prefer visiting the site of your bank directly.
- Encryption: One of the most efficient methods for preventing phishing attacks is none other than the use of an encrypted phone. With the use of a VPN service provider and with the contribution of high-end encryption throughout data transfer, you can sleep tight at night!
Phishing can be a huge threat and cause grave consequences on an annual basis globally; nevertheless, this does not necessarily mean that you cannot protect your smart phone! On the contrary, the power is yours to handle as you feel like. Let us know your thoughts and comments on the substantial problem of phishing attacks!