The image below was sent to me by a friend
Did you notice that the Sender who is supposed to be “Apple Inc” is sending an email from firstname.lastname@example.org but masked with the name Apple to deceive unsuspecting people?
This is what a phishing scam looks like.
Phishing emails generally try to appear as if they are from a trusted source and attempt to get recipients to share sensitive information.
The scammers replicate an email or a website that looks very similar to a trusted site (like apple), get you to click on a link, ask you for sensitive information like your password(s) and then they proceed to ruin your life.
simple right.. in less than 30 seconds, all your life savings could be wiped from your bank account.
If you’re reading this, it’s not too late.
Ways to guard against being Phissed/ Scammed.
- Always check the email address an email comes from: most mailing platforms show the names of the sender. Don’t depend on that, ensure you confirm that the email you are acting on is from a trusted source.
- If you are making payments, ensure the site you are directed to has SSL (Secure Socket Layer). If that too complex for you, just look for HTTPS and a Padlock in front of the site address.
- If you are unsure about any information gotten via mail or text message from your bank or a service provider, call customer care or an account manager.
- Scammers mimick landing pages and sometimes make them look better than the original. To confirm this, Open another tab and type in the web address yourself and ensure both tabs are exactly the same. Test links too.
- Check for grammatical errors and unusual language in the mail/website. Serious businesses proofread their websites thoroughly. A Scammer might not.
- If you understand code, Right-click the webpage and view page source in google chrome.
- Be careful of the sites you visit. A lot of sites that offer products that everyone else pays for, for free will probably want your info as payback. How do you think all these sites with free pirated movies make their money? Some of these websites ake your info and sell it to malicious organizations. Others bombard your system with viruses disguised as adverts. The main point is that they make money off you illegally.
- Enable 2-factor authentication if available. : especially on sites and services that you might need to put in payment details. With 2FA, even if one level of security has been compromised, You still have another Level which is usually harder to get. It just makes things difficult for the Scammers.
- Know your account manager or have an alternate mode of access to important services. For example, a mobile app of your banking platform. This helps in a situation where your laptop has been compromised, you can easily log in to your mobile app to block transactions or card details.
- Have multiple accounts. I’m not sure how this works in other countries but in Nigeria, a lot of people have multiple accounts with the same or different banks. It’s about not putting all your eggs in one basket. Some people don’t connect an atm card to their salary and savings accounts. They move a designated amount to a current account monthly. In this scenario, even if the ATM card is stolen, All your funds are not available to the thief.
- Have an Internet Security and Antivirus application installed on your computer.
Phishing is just one of the many ways your security can be compromised online. There are many other ways scammers and hackers can get to you (There’s DOS, spoofing, viruses… etc.). Good news is that they are all avoidable.