From a Hacker’s Book of Tricks: What is Phishing and How Can You Avoid Falling For It?

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I’m sure you’ve heard of hackers before, they’ve been in and out of the news for years and there have been plenty of notorious hacks over the years. Even the biggest and best organizations have fallen victim to hackers, including Sony and NASA.


Phishing is a technique which tries to extract information directly from the user. It usually does this by imitating a legitimate website, form or some other document. The hard part is making the user believe the page is legitimate, but there are all kinds of techniques for this.

One that gets used a lot is to send an email claiming there’s been an attempt to access the account, and that verification or detail/password changes are needed. This information is scraped by the hackers, who now have your login details and can access your account.

Prevention – Being Alert

The main ways to avoid becoming a victim is to be smart and alert with all of your transactions. If you receive an email which asks for details, check that it’s sent from the official business address of the company. Don’t click any links because if the request for changes is legitimate, you’ll usually be asked to do them through the official website itself. Remember, with a link, you can make it look like the link leads to one URL, when it actually leads to a different one. Hover over the link with your mouse pointer – it should display the linked URL as a popup bar, usually at the bottom of your browser.

Also check whenever you are on the website, that the URL displayed in your address bar is what it should be. Some scammers use very similar sites to create a convincing scam, with as little as one letter being different from the official name. Another thing to look for is the padlock logo next to the URL (in the address bar). This is the sign of a secure (HTTPS) connection if it isn’t there you should never enter any sensitive information.

These techniques should also be used on any suspicious emails, including those which claim to be prize giveaways or contests. Anything that asks for your details is suspicious.

Prevention by Other Sources

If you want more protection than this, there are a few options open to you. Firstly you can use an IT consulting service. The use of an effective service aims to help your business grow in efficiency whilst tightening up on security. They’re expert providers who can save you time and effort by letting you outsource all of your IT development. Read on for more details on how IT consulting services can transform your business!

Spam-filters on your email are also important because they filter out a lot of phishing attempts before they even get to you. You can’t click on a link if it doesn’t reach you, right?

Antivirus software can also help you to identify phishing attempts and block them. This works even better if the software you use has a browser plugin built into it.


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