Here Are The Latest Phishing Trends
The online world is full of incredible features that have made our lives much easier and far more comfortable than it’s ever been before. Whether you’re looking for entertainment through YouTube videos or catching up on the latest news through your social media newsfeed, there are a ton of helpful and simply incredible things you can do on the internet.
Moreover, the internet even allows you to work from anywhere in the world, book an entire holiday in advance, and get in touch with your friends and family from anywhere and at any time. But as much as the internet has brought us elements of good, there have also been some negatives creeping in that many people are not aware of.
The most dangerous element of the internet is cybercrime, and it’s important to understand the methods and tactics that hackers use to breach innocent victims’ devices. The main method that you need to be aware of is phishing. While phishing might have been around for many years, there’s been a massive shift in how it manifests itself. You need to understand what phishing is and how it has changed over the years if you want to keep yourself safe only — so make sure you keep reading!
What is Phishing
To fully understand how phishing has developed over the years, we first need to have a good understanding of what phishing is and how it works. So, let's take a closer look at the basics of phishing.
In its most basic form, phishing is used in emails. The goal behind phishing is to get the victim to interact with an illegitimate link or attachment. Once the victim interacts with either of these elements in the phishing email, the hacker will have the upper hand and one of two things could happen.
The first is that malicious software can be installed on your device. Also known as malware, this type of software is extremely dangerous, and it can come in many different forms. The most common types of malware that you might encounter on your device are viruses, spyware, and ransomware.
Secondly, you might be redirected to an illegitimate website that has been set up by the cybercriminal. This website will be rigged with a keylogger. A keylogger is a type of software that will copy everything you type into the website and give it straight to the cybercriminal. This allows the hacker to steal important data such as your login credentials, personal information, and even your banking details.
Even in the most basic form of phishing, it can be easy to fall into this trap. However, many internet users have learned from past experiences and have an understanding of posing, so cybercriminals have had to develop their tactics to keep tricking victims into falling for their scams.
How Has Phishing Developed?
So, how has phishing changed over the years? Cybercriminals have started using social engineering to manipulate and deceive their victims into interacting with their phishing scams. Social engineering is when hackers disguise themselves and their phishing scams by posing as a person or company that the victim might know and trust.
An excellent example of a modern phishing scam is where the hacker will send an email to their victim pretending to be Netflix. The popular entertainment platform has millions of subscribers worldwide, which means that the chances are high that the scammers will find a target that has a Netflix account and wouldn’t think twice about receiving an email from them.
The problem is that cybercriminals have become so skilled at replicating emails, making phishing scams more and more difficult to spot. Hackers will use the same logos and color schemes that you would find on a real Netflix email — to the untrained eye there might be no difference at all!
The email will urge the victim to update their billing information by following a link at the bottom of the email. The link will direct the victim to a fake website that the hacker built, and a keylogger will capture all of the data that the victim types into the website. This can include their login credentials and banking information.
More worryingly though, is the fact that phishing has also progressed to other vehicles such as social media platforms. It’s arguably easier for hackers to identify and deceive their targets on social media because our profiles give away a ton of critical information about ourselves. Between our interests and hobbies, cybercriminals can craft the perfect phishing scam to trick victims into giving up the information they want.
For example, a cybercriminal could send you a direct message offering you tickets to an upcoming concert featuring your favorite artists. All you need to do is follow a link in the message and complete a quick survey, perhaps entering some personal information and logging into your account. Once again, the keylogger will capture all the data the hackers are after.
How to Stay Safe Against Phishing
With phishing becoming more and more difficult to identify on the internet, it’s important to make sure that you have a safety net in place that will prevent you from falling victim to their ever-evolving strategies.
The best solution is to invest in premium cybersecurity tools. In this scenario, the tool you need is premium antivirus software. Antivirus software will constantly scan your devices for any viruses or other forms of malware. If any malware has been detected by the software, action can be taken to remove it before it causes any further damage.
It’s important to invest in premium antivirus software because of the additional features that you get with your antivirus software. For one, the antivirus software will have the ability to scan emails and links for potential phishing scams. The software will be equipped with a library of known phishing websites and links, and when one of these illegitimate links is identified, the software will give you an early warning to prevent you from falling into the trap.
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