The internet is vast, full of information, stories, and scams. Scams are an unfortunate reality you must contend with as you navigate the web. Some are more sophisticated than others, and some have even become harder to detect. However, some scams generally have the same telltale signs, and phishing scams are one of these.
Knowing how to recognize when one is being sent is important so you can avoid it. There are two ways phishing scams work. The first way involves a link in an email that looks like a regular Google link within an email. The link will redirect your browser automatically to another site that looks like the original but contains malicious code. This code will request your personal information, including your name, address, and phone number.
The second way that phishing scams work involves impersonating a legitimate company. The scammer will send a text asking you to verify your phone number with a number that only the scammer knows. If you get this text message, do not reply to it. If scammers hack you, you could give them access to your personal information, including passwords, bank account numbers, and other sensitive information.
How to Avoid Phishing Scams
Consider Multi-factor Authentication
One of the effective ways to protect yourself from phishing scams is to enable multi-factor authentication. This will prompt you to enter a unique code every time you log in from a new device or browser. That way, the scammer will not be able to get hold of your personal information without getting access to your device or having the code.
Use Google’s Safe Browsing Service
Google has launched a feature to alert you if a new website you recently viewed is suspicious. The feature helps prevent you from accessing malicious sites and malware by providing you with the website’s reputation. You can access this feature from Google’s Account Security page.
Check URLs Carefully
When you get an email from someone, don’t click on any links within it unless you know for sure that the person sent it to you. Even if the email appears to be sent from a friend, do not open it unless you received it directly from them by clicking their name in your inbox, not an email link they included.
Update Your Software Often
If you have apps on your phone and computer, you should always update them when a new version comes out. The updates will protect your devices by repairing security flaws and installing patches to mitigate vulnerabilities. This is especially true for web browsers and other programs vulnerable to phishing attacks.
Phishing scams are among the most common online threats, and downloading links from unknown sources can be dangerous. With the help of Google’s Safe Browsing feature and phishing protection tools, you can protect yourself from these scams.