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Security & privacy

The top 10 most impersonated brands online – Read this to steer clear of phishing

Phishing scams have been around for years, but the thieves behind them constantly change techniques. Earlier this year, phishing scams targeted your bank accounts. Tap or click here for details on these dangerous financial scams.

One of the most successful go-tos for cybercriminals is spoofing. That’s where they impersonate a famous brand or company you do business with and try to trick you out of personal information or banking details. The best way to avoid falling victim is to know what to look for in advance.

That’s why we’re sharing the list of the top 10 most impersonated brands online. Keep reading to discover which company’s phishing scammers are spoofing the most and ways to outsmart them.

Here’s the backstory

Security company Check Point recently released its Q3 Brand Phishing Report. It covers the websites and services spoofed most often to steal personal information, payment or banking information, and other types of valuable data.

You might be surprised to find out that the top 10 list doesn’t consist of all financial institutions. Delivery company DHL actually tops the list of most impersonated brands.

Here’s the complete top 10 list:

  1. DHL (22% of phishing attacks)
  2. Microsoft (16% of phishing attacks)
  3. LinkedIn (11% of phishing attacks)
  4. Google (6% of phishing attacks)
  5. Netflix (5% of phishing attacks)
  6. WeTransfer (5% of phishing attacks)
  7. Walmart (5% of phishing attacks)
  8. WhatsApp (4% of phishing attacks)
  9. HSBC (4% of phishing attacks)
  10. Instagram (3% of phishing attacks)

LinkedIn reigned supreme during Q1 and Q2, and researchers behind this report believe that DHL’s newfound rank could be due to one especially large attack earlier this summer. 

With online shopping so prevalent these days, it makes sense that a delivery company would be the target of phishing scams. Think about how panicked you might get if you receive a message claiming that your package can’t be delivered and you need to click a link to resolve the issue. Evil genius!

How to avoid phishing scams

Phishing scams are a favorite tool of cybercriminals. That’s why it’s critical to know how to avoid falling victim before receiving a phishing text or email.

Best ways to outsmart phishing emails and texts:

  • Safeguard your information — Never give out personal data if you don’t know the sender of a text or email or can’t verify their identity. Criminals only need your name, email address and telephone number to rip you off.
  • Always use 2FA — Use two-factor authentication (2FA) for better security whenever available. Tap or click here for details on 2FA.
  • Avoid links and attachments — Don’t click on links or attachments you receive in unsolicited emails. They could be malicious, infect your device with malware and/or steal sensitive information.
  • Beware of phishing emails — Scammers piggyback on breaches or events in the news by sending malicious emails to trick you into clicking their links that supposedly have important information. Look out for strange URLs, return addresses and spelling/grammar errors.
  • Use strong, unique passwords — Need help creating better passwords? Tap or click here for ways to secure your online accounts.
  • Antivirus is vital — Always have a trusted antivirus program updated and running on all your devices. We recommend our sponsor, TotalAV. Right now, get an annual plan with TotalAV for only $19 at ProtectWithKim.com. That’s over 85% off the regular price!

Keep reading

Convincing bank text scams could cost you thousands

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