Phishing attempts and social engineering tactics have also been on the rise. Phishing is when attackers send an email or another form of communication that pretends to be coming from a legitimate institution such as banking or shopping websites to steal sensitive data.
A more intricate form of this particular threat that is on the rise is spear phishing. Spear phishing is a form of a targeted email scam aimed specifically at an individual or organization by including individual information like name, phone number, or the company you work for to fool you into thinking that it is authentic.
Another scam that's gaining traction with cybercriminals is Business Email Compromise (BEC), which aims to trick employees into sending money transfers by impersonating executive email accounts. These attacks are initiated either by social engineering tricks, email spoofing or malware, targeting upper management executives, accounting and HR departments.
Follow these important safety steps to avoid falling victim to phishing attacks:
- Be cautious with links - If you get a text or email that you find suspicious, don't click on its links. It could be a phishing attack. It's always better to type a website's address directly into a browser than clicking on a link.
- Watch for typos - Phishing scams are infamous for having typos. If you receive an email or notification from a reputable company, it should not contain typos. Take our phishing IQ test to see if you can spot a fake email.
- Have strong security software - Having strong protection on your family's gadgets is very important. The best defense against digital threats is strong security software.
- Set up two-factor authentication - Two-factor authentication, also known as two-step verification, means that to log in to your account, you need two ways to prove you are who you say you are. It's like the DMV or bank asking for two forms of ID. Click here to learn how to set up two-factor authentication.