While India continues its stride towards a digital future, it also ranks 27th, globally, in the number of web-threats, according to a recent report.
As a matter of fact, various types of phishing, scamming, and other forms of cybercrimes have increased throughout the nation in the last few years, praying on the vulnerable who are either unfamiliar with the new system or are too ignorant to bother about safety.
- Reports of various types of cybercrimes spiked during mid-2020. Digital breaches have thus soared by almost 86% between March and April solely.
As Indians get used to the new norm of workplace and work-from-home duet, criminals are introducing new technologies to try to scam individuals handling valuable information from the security of their office’s closed networks. The necessary improvement of data speed and connectivity, even in remote sections of the nation, made unsuspecting victims exposed to criminals and different types of phishing scams.
- An estimated 6 trillion dollars were lost in cybercrimes across the nation during the first nine months of 2020.
While the Government of India integrated several systems to fight such breaches, the lion’s share of responsibility rests on the end user only. A careful customer more often than not staves the chances of being defrauded. For this reason, it is necessary for everyone to understand what is phishing, how criminals use various tactics to dupe their targets, and how to safeguard one’s self against such attacks.
Understanding the meaning of phishing
Phishing refers to a broad category of scams where criminals try to con their victims into disclosing (or by stealing) their personal information. These tactics are usually employed to collect financial details, payment card details, identity, account details, etc.
While the word itself is used as an umbrella term, some common types of phishing are employed more often. Here’s a list of such scams and how to remain protected against falling for them.
Email Phishing –
One of the most common types of phishing involves the use of emails. In this scenario, criminals send emails that impersonate official correspondence and wait for the victim to click on a malicious link that the mail might carry.
Preventing such phishing attacks is relatively straightforward. One should refrain from clicking on any links or download any attachments from unsolicited emails. Other than that, one can purchase a suitable cybersecurity cover that further protects his/her financial interests in case of any losses from such phishing or spoofing emails.
Fraudsters may also try to dupe their victims by calling them over the phone. Similar to email phishing, they try to scare or trick an individual by acting as official correspondences to gain access to their personal information.
The best way to stay protected against these types of phishing is to restrict the information shared over a phone call. Careful customers should never divulge their private or financial information over the phone. One should also never call back any unknown number after receiving a missed call or a dead call. Also, tailor-made plans like identity assure cover can protect a customer’s interest in case he or she needs to seek legal action after incidents of information theft.
Search Result Scams –
Paid search ad services are often exploited to display fraudulent results and links (that may lead to a malicious website). It is a common tactic employed by criminals as it can be difficult to distinguish between an organic and a paid search result.
These often redirect to malicious websites that record essential data when someone creates a profile or makes a transaction.
A careful look into the URL before clicking on any particular link will also eliminate the risk of these types of phishing. Any legitimate website will start with ‘https’, representing a website’s security. Ensure no transactions are made on sites that are not genuine.
Careful handling of confidential information and online behaviour is more than likely to reduce the risk of falling prey to common phishing attacks. Additional financial coverage can be secured in the form of an insurance plan like Wallet Care cover, offered by Bajaj Finserv under their Pocket Insurance & Subscriptions. One should also follow the methods mentioned above at all times to safeguard themselves.
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