Phishing. You’ve heard the term, but what is it?
Phishing is when an online attacker tries to obtain your valuable information by pretending to be a good guy.
It happens all the time, and it’s probably happened to you recently.
Fear not. Here are 3 simple tips to harden yourself against phishing attempts:
1. Be suspicious of every digital communication you receive!
Every single one. (for example: Email, Facebook, Twitter, text message, etc.)
If anyone online reaches out to you online and they’re asking for something, assume they’re lying.
2. Be doubly suspicious of any message conveying a sense of urgency
People make dumb decisions when they’re stressed. Most attackers will try to convince you that whatever they want you to do is urgent, or that you will miss something important if you don’t do what they are asking. Be especially wary of these sorts of messages.
3. Hover over links before clicking
You probably already know how to do this, but let me remind you how awesome this common feature is (especially when defending against phishing)…
Hyperlinks or “links” are the things you click on in emails (or on websites) that take you somewhere on the internet. They are sometimes blue and underlined.
Before you click on a link, hover your mouse on top of it. When you hover without clicking, you should be able to see where the link is really going to take you.
See the below screenshots showing what I’m talking about.
If the real location looks suspicious at all (remember tips #1 and #2 above), ABORT. Close the browser tab, delete the email, press the back button, or otherwise vacate the premises.
Phishing is no joke, and phishing artists are good at their craft. By following the above tips, you will be able to stay one step ahead.