If you are one of the people who experienced a phishing attack or receiving an email from a hacker who is demanding payment for your personal sensitive information—such as photos or videos that are sexual in nature—to everyone including your friends and family, then this post is just right for you!
Nobody wants to fall prey to a phishing scam. If you are not knowledgeable enough about this kind of things, there’s a good reason enough for cybercriminals to make huge profits. With 89% of phishing attacks orchestrated by professional cybercrime organizations, it’s essential to stay ahead of the game.
What is phishing scam?
Phishing is a form of online identity theft that uses disguised email as a weapon in which thieves trick you into providing your sensitive personal information such as personally identifiable information, banking and credit card details, and passwords into a social networking and fraudulent email message, SMS text message, and instant message from mobile apps. The scammer will spread phishing emails to distribute malicious links or attachments through to a fake webpage with the aim of persuading them user to enter personal information – it’s estimated that an average of 1.4 million of these websites are created every month..
This is an example of phishing:
Hello! My nickname in darknet is quent75. I hacked this mailbox more than six months ago, through it I infected your operating system with a virus (trojan) created by me and have been monitoring you for a long time. If you don't believe me please check 'from address' in your header, you will see that I sent you an email from your mailbox. Even if you changed the password after that - it does not matter, my virus intercepted all the caching data on your computer and automatically saved access for me. I have access to all your accounts, social networks, email, browsing history. Accordingly, I have the data of all your contacts, files from your computer, photos and videos. I was most struck by the intimate content sites that you occasionally visit. You have a very wild imagination, I tell you! During your pastime and entertainment there, I took screenshot through the camera of your device, synchronizing with what you are watching. Oh my god! You are so funny and excited! I think that you do not want all your contacts to get these files, right? If you are of the same opinion, then I think that $524 is quite a fair price to destroy the dirt I created. Send the above amount on my BTC wallet (bitcoin): 19D67Tgb3neJiTHd8pZDEBYmUn2qSjxEeB As soon as the above amount is received, I guarantee that the data will be deleted, I do not need it. Otherwise, these files and history of visiting sites will get all your contacts from your device. Also, I'll send to everyone your contact access to your email and access logs, I have carefully saved it! Since reading this letter you have 50 hours! After your reading this message, I'll receive an automatic notification that you have seen the letter. I hope I taught you a good lesson. Do not be so nonchalant, please visit only to proven resources, and don't enter your passwords anywhere! Good luck!
The general gist is that a hacker claims to have compromised your computer and says they will send all the sensitive information—such as contacts, files, photos and videos captured through the camera of your device—to everyone. The hacker promises to delete all the files of you that they have if you send them the amount they are asking for, usually with bitcoin
Phishing attacks have been around practically since the inception of the Internet, and they will not go away any time soon. Needless to say, it’s something we all need to be aware of. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid becoming a victim yourself, but the first and foremost piece of advice we have: do not send them the payment they ask. Here are 10 basic guidelines in keeping yourself safe:
- Keep informed against spam. New phishing scams are being developed all the time. Be especially cautious of emails that:
- Come from unrecognized senders.
- Does not address you directly.
- Ask you to confirm personal or financial information over the Internet and/or make urgent requests for this information.
- Aren’t personalized.
- Try to convey a sense of urgency with frightening information.
- Think Before You Click – Do not click on links, download files or open attachments in emails from unknown senders. It is best to click on links when you’re on trusted sites or open attachments only when you now what they contain, and you know who the sender is. Also, go to the website by typing the Web address directly into your browser or by searching for it in a search engine. Calling the company to verify its legitimacy is also an option, too.
- Never Give Out Personal Information– As a general rule, never share personal or financial information over the Internet or email. You never know who may gain access to your email account, or to the person’s account to whom you are emailing. When using a website, make it a habit to check the address of the website. A secure website always starts with “https” whereby the “s” stands for “secure” rather than a “http:”. Legitimate businesses will not send you an email to ask for your login information or sensitive personal information.
- Check Your Online Accounts Regularly– To protect yourself from falling victim to a phishing scam, it’s important to regularly check your online account. Get into the habit of changing your username and passwords regularly to prevent bank phishing and credit card phishing scams and protect your statements regularly. Get monthly bank statements for your financial accounts to ensure no unauthorized transactions have been made without your knowledge.
- Beware of pop-ups – Pop-up windows often occur when a user is browsing the Internet. When the user click on these pop ups, they will then display a message stating that the user’s computer is infected with malware and offer a phone number for help with removing the malware. Do not click on links in a pop-up screen. Also, do not copy web addresses into your browser from pop-ups. All too often, though, they are phishing attempts. Many popular browsers allow you to block pop-ups; you can allow them on a case-by-case basis
- Keep Your Browser Up to Date– Another effective way to avoid phishing scams is to ensure that end user browsers are up to date. Security patches are released for popular browsers all the time. Chrome for example has a setting turned on by default called “protect you and your device from dangerous sites”. They are released in response to the security loopholes that phishers and other hackers inevitably discover and exploit.
- Use Firewalls – Strengthen the security controls of your websites applications and email system with a firewall – they worklike a filter between your computer/network and the Internet that protect you from malwares and malicious mischief including phishing scams.
- Use Antivirus Software – There is no better way to recognize and prevent phishing scams than to use anti-virus and anti-spyware software with anti-phishing. With so many anti viruses offered by companies, it is better to do some research to ensure you are getting the best software and update them on a regularly basis to ensure that you are protecting yourself from new viruses and spyware.