It is almost impossible for people today to not have any digital identity. You need not have a social media presence to have a virtual presence. Instead, having a smartphone, a laptop, or any similar gadget leads you to have an email account, which is enough to start building your online presence. Furthermore, you may also need an email account to fulfil various routine requirements.
Irrespective of who you are, having a digital identity exposes you to the possibility of online threats, and is necessary to be careful and engage in precautionary practices. Therefore, the availability of cyber insurance
is more commonplace now. It allows you to maintain your online presence while knowing that you have a layer of security to protect you from phishing scams.
Before we dive into the best practices to protect yourself from phishing, let’s understand what phishing is.
What is phishing?
One of the simplest ways to understand phishing is that these are online attacks designed to steal information, money, or identity from you. Attackers often pretend to be legitimate or reputable sources, and may even attempt to impersonate commonly known websites or authorities. They usually trick you to click on links which automatically steal sensitive information from you, or may ask you to share the same after gaining your trust or deceiving you.
Remember that anyone could find themselves a victim of phishing attacks. Instead of assuming that you are safe, it is better to practice precautionary measures to ensure that you are, indeed, safer.
Identifying phishing attacks
There are a few common ways that cyber criminals and fraudsters use to lure you in to fall prey to a phishing attack. If you want to stay safe, it is important to be able to recognise these commonly used phishing techniques.
- Scammers usually resort to creating a false sense of urgency to push you into acting immediately. Doing so may increase the chances of the intended target clicking on links as the attacker intended.
- You can look for small yet significant discrepancies in the text. For example, there may be spelling mistakes or small changes in the logo design. If you spot any of these, verify the source of the message.
- If the sender of the email or the message is unknown to you, it is best to be cautious.
- Look out for the attachments of the message. Usually, they tend to come across as suspicious. Avoid opening or clicking on such attachments.
- In the case of these messages, the greetings tend to be suspicious looking. The message may use a generic greeting, instead of addressing you by your name or your chosen identity.
How to stay protected against phishing?
Here are some of the simple yet important practices you must employ to keep yourself safe against phishing attacks.
1. Install security software
Ensure that all your devices are protected with security software. If you already have one, then ensure that it is updated to the latest version, so you may get maximum protection. Antivirus or antimalware software can help you automatically scan any messages and files on your device to ensure that they are free of threats.
2. Install firewalls
This is different from installing security software. There are two types of firewalls you should be aware of – a network firewall and a desktop firewall. Of these, a network firewall is usually hardware, whereas a desktop one tends to be software. A combination of these can help you reduce the chances of a phishing attack.
3. Don’t click unknown links
Whether they come to you through a message or an email, or you find them on a website, avoid clicking links without first verifying their safety. If the links appear suspicious, hover over them instead of directly clicking them, as this can help you get more details.
4. Check website security
Before visiting a website, it is crucial to ensure that it is legitimate and safe. Ideally, a website’s address should have an “https://” rather than an “http://”. The former indicates that the site is relatively more secure to use.
5. Get cyber insurance
With cyber insurance coverage
offered by top insurance providers today, it is easier to stay protected against phishing and cyber-attacks. A cyber policy ensures that even if you were to face an unfortunate situation where you end up being the victim of an online scam, you would still be financially secure. * Standard T&C Apply
What is cyber insurance?
Commonly, in the case of policies, the word ‘insurance’ points towards financial protection. In the case of a cyber insurance
plan, you are financially protected against the possibility of online scams, identity theft, phishing, cyber extortion, and more.
Apart from making insurance claims
when facing phishing or other such threats, the policyholder may also avail of counselling services as a part of the insurance policy. Thus, if you rely on your online presence and want to stay safe, you must consider a cyber insurance policy.
*Standard T&C Apply
Insurance is the subject matter of solicitation. For more details on benefits, exclusions, limitations, terms, and conditions, please read the sales brochure/policy wording carefully before concluding a sale.