The instances of phishing frauds have increased significantly over the years and specially with everything going digital, the instances of online frauds due to phishing activities have increased even more drastically. There is a pool of very confidential information available online today which is at the highest risk of being hacked with the help of phishing tools that are used by online hackers and frauds. 

What is Phishing?

The phishing meaning lies in the term itself. Just like when we go fishing, we trap a fish with a net, the same is what attackers do with their victim, by sending them a malicious email/SMS that works as a trap for them to enter their personal details which opens gates for the attackers to misuse this information in not one but many ways. The attackers send emails/SMS that seem very appealing and have a URL inserted which when clicked opens to a fake website. Once you enter your bank/personal details in these linked websites, your data is now open to the hackers and can be used to drain you financially, professionally, or even personally. 

There are several ways of avoiding phishing like carefully checking the email credentials, avoid clicking on non-verified URLs and most importantly having an insurance cover that covers you in case of financial losses as a result of cybercrimes. It is important to have a cover that not just protects you against phishing but also other types of cybercrimes just like the Bajaj Finserv’s Cyber Security Cover which is a full proof cover against financial loss resulting from any type of cybercrimes or computer hacking.  

What is a Phishing Attack?

Phishing is very broad and expanded pool and to understand how it works we need to understand the various ways in which phishing attacks can take place-

  1. Through emails– These are ‘call-to-action’ emails that want you to click to a given URL which lead to the installation of a malware or virus into your system. These phishing emails generally use an email id of any popular brand so that they look authentic, and people can easily be fooled to believe that these are from a verified source. You may end up inserting your payment methods which can be easily hacked by the attacker. The best way of avoiding this form happening to you is to be very careful while clicking on URLs and entering your information. 
  2. Spear Phishing– This form of phishing technique is when the attacker poses as a person or an entity you know and wins your trust convincing you to share your details. These forms of attacks are more common and more successful as the victims often believe that the attacker is a friend or a person you know. 
  3. Business Email Attacks- In order to procure information from those on a high-level position, the attackers have to win the trust of the victim and so this form of phishing takes a little longer than usual. The attacker takes a few weeks to communicate with the victim and then sends the malicious email once he/she has developed the trust. In such cases the victim easily clicks and enters the information which can be personal or even company related causing huge damage to the organization as a whole.
  4. Phishing websites- There can be phishing pages hidden within a genuine site thereby leading common audience to be fooled and entering their information. This is done by trained hackers who have expertise to manipulate an organization’s website and the damage caused by such attacks can be huge as people believe that they are scrolling through an authentic website. 

How to Prevent Phishing?

  1. Keep yourself secured financially against any form of cybercrimes- It has been reported that there has been a loss of over 1.2 trillion due to cybercrimes in India, as of 2019. This data reflects the need for every individual to be secured against these cybercrimes. The best option is to have an insurance cover that provides cover for any form of cyberthefts that lead to financial losses to an individual. One of the best insurance covers in this segment is the Bajaj Finserv’s Cyber Security Cover which provides the much-needed security against not just phishing but also other kinds of cybercrimes like spoofing/simjacking/unauthorized use of your computer system etc. The premiums start as low as Rs. 299 providing a sum insured of Rs. 25,000 and can go up to Rs. 2 Lakhs for a premium of Rs. 499 only. 
  2. Eye for detail– Phishing prevention is as simple as the simple act of keeping your door closed to strangers i.e., do not click on any emails or SMS from an unknown sender.
  3. Ant-phishing software– Install ant-phishing tools and software that notify you in case you are being phished. 

Apart from the above it is important that you keep changing your passwords regularly, keep an eye for your bank details and do not let anyone and everyone use your computer/desktop/phone. It is always better to take precautions, especially in this very digital world.