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Phishing scams may appear in different forms. These scams are not solely about sending fake emails; it could be in a form of pop-ups and even phone calls. Scammers use different online techniques to defraud people.  Often times, scammers use fear as a tactic. They scare people in order for panic to arise and people will take the bait.

Since phishing scams look as if they are legitimate, it is extremely important to know what separates the fake messages from the real ones. How do you know that messages are from reliable sources? What to look for you to spot fakes? Here are the most phishing scams and some tips to prevent them.

  • Email scams

Let’s start with the most common one, and that is an email phishing scam. At first glance, these fraudulent email messages seem like it is from an authorized personnel or reputable company. The goal is to trick the recipient in order to acquire personal information in an unlawful way.

Generally, a phishing email also has a fake website attached to it. The fake message will encourage you to take action and click on a fake website. This is designed to look as if you are on the actual site of the business.

The messages will usually urge the recipient to give out details like full name, bank account number, credit card account, or any financial information that could be use for theft.

What to do to avoid phishing scams?

  • The first and most important tip is to NOT click links from unverified emails. Make sure it is from an email you know.
  • Unless you know the sender, do NOT download email attachments as well.
  • For example, if it pretends to be from your bank, open your browser and go to the official website of the bank. Login from there and check for yourself. If you see that your account is fine, then, that email is fake and is baiting you.
  • So, be very particular with details. Phishers use actual company logos and newsletters to make it seem legit. Usually, the phishing emails they use are misspelled variations of the real emails. Take note of the spelling of the emails addresses and the links.
  • Do NOT transact outside of the official website. Always use the official means of communication, and you can even call your bank to verify such email.

 

  • Vishing scams

From the letter “V”, you can probably what this is about. Vishing pertains to voice. Scammers may use a voice version of the typical phishing, but it uses the same techniques. Vishing is a phone scam, where people are tricked into giving out personal information.

What to do with vishing scams?

  • First, do not panic. Vishing scams tend scare you so that you will immediately give your banking details. Never give any information for that matter.
  • If it is indeed a legit request from your bank, hang up and call the bank yourself. Do not transact outside the official lines.
  • Lastly, if the caller gives a contact number, do not engage or call that number. Go to the official company website and check their numbers. If the given number is not there, then, those numbers are fake.

Next? 5 Common Phishing Scams and How to Prevent Them (Part 2)

In Mobile Security Threats that You NEED to Know About (Part 1), I already start the discussion on the threats that could endanger your mobile devices and its contents. Worse, every year, the number of mobile threats keep increasing. Your phone gets more and more exposed each passing day.

So, let’s get into it and talk about the other 3 mobile security threats that pose as a harm.

  1. Viruses and Trojans

Next are the viruses and trojans. These attack your mobile devices and these are attached to seemingly legit programs. Once you install these seemingly harmless programs, they hijack your mobile devices and acquire the information stored in there. These information could be personal or banking details.

  1. Browser Exploits

One common sign of browser exploit is when your browser’s search page or homepage has been changed. The main screen, by default, redirects you to a link that you did not set. If you have experienced this, then, you have been a victim of a browser exploit.

Usually, browser exploits attack the security flaws in your browser. Then, they also target the other applications that you integrated on your browser, like a PDF reader and similar add-ons.

  1. Phishing Apps

Phishing apps are now a trend. This is a new take and old scheme. Before, when the emailing was still new, phishing emails are rampant. Cyber criminals will pose as the legit source and would send you an email asking for personal details.

If you are not careful, you could give away your password, credit card details, and other details  that only should know about. So, now, the same is happening with phishing apps. These apps mimic the real apps. At first glance, you would really think these phishing apps are the legit ones.

On a mobile device, screens are obviously smaller so it would be difficult to distinguish the fake from the real ones. If you are not careful, you could install the fake apps, and they could secretly acquire all the information you typed on that app — username, password, email, mobile number, and many more.

  1. Grayware Apps

Lastly, there are the grayware apps are not exactly harmful to your device, but they expose you to certain privacy risks. According to Symantec’s 2018 Internet Security Threat Report, 63% of grayware apps did leak the device’s number. Moreover, 37% of these apps gave away the device’s current location.

 

Final Thoughts

So, that warps the topmost threats that dominate the mobile sector in the recent years.  Now, that you now all these data, please do not take this lightly. Start protecting your online privacy because when you protect yourself, you are also protecting the people around you.

Cybersecurity is extremely important especially for business owners because the stakes are higher. Once a business’ online account is compromised, then all the transactions in that account will be as well. These vital business information could be sent to third party companies. That’s how Facebook spied on their competitors!

For all your cybersecurity needs, Omnipotech is the name you can trust. Contact Omnipotech Support Center  now to know more about all our cybersecurity solutions. If you have any further questions, please get in touch by calling 281-768-4800!

In Beware of Coronavirus Scams and Other Related Malicious Sites, I made you aware of the phishing tactics spreading around the internet lately. I made sure that I would allocate a specific post regarding the protection against these online threats. Wether you admit it or not, there will be people using this global pandemic to their advantage. These cybercriminals don’t just go for healthcare institutions, but they also target your personal banking details.

Generally, cybercriminals don’t just spread threats online, but they have the audacity of going through your very homes. In fact, CNN posted an article about criminals that are posing as government authorities to scam people.

Protection Against Coronavirus Phishing Sites

As mere users, what can you do to avoid phishing scams? More importantly, if you own a business, what can you do to help your employees fall for these schemes?

  • Knowledge IS Power.

First, you have to inform everyone you know about COVID-19 so they won’t carelessly look for information elsewhere. Others may not be as well-versed as you are so keep them away from any threats by sharing the knowledge you know.

  • Only Share Official Websites.

Next, you have to stop speculating. The internet is full of conspiracy theories about the coronavirus. We all have to deal with this as a team and now is NOT the time to insist on your personal opinions. COVID-19 is a health emergency. Having said that, believe what the doctors and medical experts are saying. They are the most reputable sources of information today; don’t go sharing what you read on Facebook without verifying anything.

To help you get started, you can visit these websites:

  • Conduct a Quick Cyber Awareness Training.

Since this global pandemic has change the landscape of our workforce, it’s also timely to make them aware of the threats proliferating online. The virus we are fighting isn’t just found outside, but there’s also a threat spreading online. Phishing emails can endanger businesses as well. Teach all your employees on how to spot suspicious websites and emails, which are used to steal information. Most importantly, use pro-privacy tools even when one is using a shared computer at home.

In order to avoid to fall victim on these malicious email and sites, please read the following articles on cybersecurity.

  • Before Doing Anything, Verify First.

Lastly, don’t believe everything you read online. Verify all the information you have gathered. If you know a doctor or a nurse, you ask them first. Don’t spread unnecessary fear about the coronavirus.

Also, don’t immediately perform tasks which require you to supply sensitive information such as money transfers or signing documents. For instance, an employee got an email that he or she should transfer money immediately because a supervisor or an executive is not available at this time. Inform all your employees to:

  • Examine carefully all the emails they get. Check where the email is from, the email address used, the domain name of the email. Make sure everything matches with the information that they have!
  • As much as possible, verify through a phone call or through internal communication about the task especially if it entails money and classified information.
  • Never reply to those phishing emails and delete them right away!

As the number of Coronavirus Disease 2019 ( or COVID-19) cases rapidly increase throughout the world, there are also a growing number of Coronavirus websites proliferating. At every corner of the internet, you could see websites popping up getting email addresses and personal user information. Sadly, these websites only bring more harm than good. Thus, it is important to filter the information that come your way. Don’t be fooled by other websites and only believe data from verified outlets. For reliable information, you can visit the  Public Health Emergency, Centers for Disease Control, and The New York Times.

Now, more than ever, is not the time to spread malicious websites. The Health Sector Cybersecurity Coordination Center warns the netizens about a malicious website that’s not only fake, but it is also a malware. Worse, most users are unsuspecting of this because they just want to learn and get updates about COVID-19.

Undeniably, cybercriminals are using this global pandemic for their personal gains. Now is the time to be alert of the coronavirus spread, but also of the people taking advantage of new disease. The threat online is also as important the threat we experience in the real world. So, let’s dissect the phishing websites spreading online? What are the tactics they use to scam people?

A Fake COVID-19 Tracker

In any disaster, often times, people rely on the internet to get the new information. That’s why cybercriminals aim to replicate real and actual sites, making them seem harmless. What do they do exactly? They come up with a fake live tracker.

corona-virus-map[dot]com, a phishing website, seems to be the real deal when you look at it. Please don’t even try visiting the said site! I am not linking it here; this is just to make people aware that such fake tracking map exists. COVID-19 is already a serious threat as it is, and now, this fake website is only making thing worse. The phishing website is said to impersonate an actual health organization called John’s Hopkins University. Upon visiting the said site, the website visitors will infect with a trojan, and this AZORult trojan will steal information from the unsuspecting visitors. The information gathered can be used for cybercrimes and even theft.

More Coronavirus Domains

According to the security firm CheckPoint.com,

Since January 2020, based on Check Point Threat Intelligence, there have been over 4,000 coronavirus-related domains registered globally. Out of these websites, 3% were found to be malicious and an additional 5% are suspicious. Coronavirus- related domains are 50% more likely to be malicious than other domains registered at the same period.

COVID-19 Related Cybercrimes

More and more news articles pertaining to the coronavirus are being published each day. In fact, CheckPoint.com even reported that legitimate sites such as CNN and Financial Times have more than 1,200 articles and 1,100 articles about the coronavirus respectively.

Ever since the World Health Organiztion categorized COVID-19 a global pandemic, numerous COVID-19 themed websites are popping up. Other malicious websites spread through different means like:

  • sending malicious links online,
  • attaching shady links on emails,
  • spreading through online ads, and other portals on social media.

So, everyone should be aware on how cybersecurity threats can spread. Don’t just be cautious over this new corona-virus-map[dot]com site, but also be careful on the links and emails you click when you browse for new information about the coronavirus. Read helpful on 4 Tips in Protecting Yourself from Coronavirus Phishing Sites

 

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