Phishing: how to detect one of the subtlest online threats

Phishing is one of the subtlest threats in the dark world of cyber threats.

The world has been witnessing a surge in phishing attacks since the pandemic outbreak.

It may be extremely disruptive and carry big security problems, but several ways mitigate this threat.

With a caveat: enhancing your cybersecurity through software is essential, but it is not a silver bullet.

Indeed, much depends on users’ behavior, and threat actors know that.

Let’s explore how, then!


How to avoid phishing: identifying threats

Scammers have increased their sophistication to induce victims into traps.

Phishing emails and text messages may look like they’re from a company you know or trust.

Particularly, imitations may include fake notifications or communication from one’s bank, credit card company. They may come from a social networking site, an online payment website or app, or an online store.

They have a common feature. Phishing emails and text messages often tell a story to trick you into clicking on a link or opening an attachment.

Detection of these threats has been more difficult over time.

Generally, scammers send spear-phishing emails so that they really look like they’re from your friend or a colleague.

Moreover, hackers made this matter more complicated as they exploit real email accounts from a genuine entity. This usually happens because attackers have successfully broken that organization or people victims know.



But what can potential victims do to meet its dangers?

Do not despair. Precautions are actually simple.

To ensure maximum protection, you may start not clicking on an email from senders you do not know.

However, we have seen that spear-phishing may come from people you know – let them be hacked or impersonated.

In this case, you should ask yourself whether it is weird you receive, for instance,  an email from your mom when walking down the street especially, if this message has a request or an attachment.

In that case, you may contact the sender by phone or by other social media messaging apps and ask about the message.

Precautions of the sort may save you many troubles, including ransomware.

Including in your daily life, simple and effective cybersecurity practices would help to tackle phishing, too.

One of them is Two-Factors Identification. In the case of email accounts, an attacker would need to pass a second security check to gain access to your email. Indeed, TFI requires the user to identify themselves by a second method of identification, such as a text message containing a one-time code.

A physical code-generator token may also be a suitable way to protect assets from remote access.

Do not forget that human intuition is, at the same time, the core of the problem and its solution. To deal with cyber threats, you have to be smart.

Let us be honest on this point.

True, there is no cybersecurity silver bullet. Cybersecurity would not exist if a program, software, plug-in, etc., would effectively -and automatically, deal with threats.

Do not let your guard down, then!


Conclusion: phishing and the human factor.

The phishing case suggests that the human factor is a determinant factor for the origin and the solution of this threat.

Here is our dedicated blog on it.

That spear phishing is becoming a very sophisticated threat. To a great extent, it plays on psychological mechanisms and genuineness.

The main solution is, then, being patient and vigilant. Attackers rely on the rashness of today’s life in both the private and work spheres.

In almost any case, they need your consent to get in. Do not give it to them!