Learn How To Recover From A Phishing Attack With These Actionable Steps.

Learn How To Recover From A Phishing Attack With These Actionable Steps.

We all dread the thought of falling victim to a phishing attack, but it can happen to anyone. Whether you're an experienced user or new to technology, you must take the time to understand what phishing is and how you can protect yourself. In this guide, we'll go over what phishing is and how it works, then show some simple steps to recovery if your account has been compromised by one of these scams.

While the best way to avoid a phishing attempt is to be aware of the signs and take action before it’s too late. Do this self-assessment security test to find out if you are secured. 

Click the link here: https://www.getcybersafe.gc.ca/en/resources/research/take-get-cyber-safe-checkup

What is phishing?

Phishing is a form of social engineering that uses email, SMS, or other means to obtain personal information fraudulently. The term "phishing" originally referred to using bait to lure someone into taking an action they otherwise wouldn't have taken. In this sense, "bait" can be anything from a fake button on a website asking you to press it to an email promising you free merchandise if you click on the link.

All phishing attacks are carried out by email or instant messaging—the only difference between them is the medium through which they're communicated.

Understanding phishing scams

Suppose you're not sure what phishing is. In that case, it's a form of social engineering in which cybercriminals send you emails that appear to be from legitimate businesses or organizations and ask you to provide sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card numbers.

To better understand how phishing works, let's look at an example. For example, you get an email from your bank with the subject line "Your account has been compromised!" It says they need to update your credit card information immediately and ask you to log in and edit it via a link in the email. However, this message is fake—it was sent by cybercriminals hoping that one of their targets would fall for their trick and click on the link.

Phishing scams come in various forms and can be very convincing because they often mimic legitimate websites like PayPal or Amazon (and even Google). But note that if something seems too good to be true, it probably isn't true! If someone sends you an email saying, "We've detected fraudulent activity on your account," do not click on any links provided in that message; instead, contact customer support directly using another channel like a phone or live chat (the links may lead users into malware downloads).

How to recognize a phishing email

How to recognize a phishing email

If you receive an email that appears to be from your bank or other financial institution, but it is not addressed to you personally (for example, from: info@bank.com), then it could be a phishing email.

Be suspicious if the message contains poor grammar or misspellings. This can indicate that the sender is not legitimate. For example: "This is an automated message from Wells Fargo Bank customer care team regarding your account information" or "Dear Customer! Today we want to inform you about new changes in our Terms of Service Policy for all clients who use our services and update their personal information on the bank's website."

How to recover from a phishing scam

You can take a few steps to recover from a phishing scam. We'll go over them in detail below:

  • Tell your friends and family about the scam. Chances are, they've received the same email and could also be vulnerable to falling for it.
  • Report the fraud to the company or individual who sent it. Ensure to include details like who sent it, when, where, and what exactly was said in their message (including any attachments).
  • Report your experience with phishing scams to local law enforcement—both online and offline—and federal agencies that oversee consumer protection issues like identity theft prevention efforts (like the FTC) or cybercrime investigations (like the FBI), Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

Take action if you see a suspicious link or download a file.

If you've clicked on a suspicious link or downloaded a file from an unknown source, report it to the company or organization that sent it. They'll thank you for the heads up (and may even reward you).

Please don't click on links or download files from unknown sources; instead, go directly to the website of the company or organization that's supposed to be sending them. If they send an email asking for personal information, make sure it comes from their official email address, not one used just for this purpose (like info@exampleorg.com). Similarly, don't trust messages that claim to be from a company or organization you do business with (like Amazon), as scammers often use those names in phishing emails.

Scan your computer for viruses or malware

One of the best things you can do to protect yourself from a phishing attack is to scan your computer for viruses and malware. Fortunately, many free and paid security tools are available to help you keep your computer secure.

If you haven't already installed an anti-virus or anti-malware software on your computer, now is the time. The good news is that many free options are available if you're on Windows or macOS. Some examples include Avast! AVG Antivirus Free Edition, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium, and Spybot Search & Destroy 2 Portable Edition (for Windows).

Once you've installed one of these programs, run regular scans for viruses and malware to ensure no suspicious files are on your device.

Update any account passwords that may have been compromised.

Next, you should change any passwords that may have been compromised. It's important to note that changing your password doesn't mean a phishing attack will no longer work on your account—it just means that it won't work anymore because you changed the password. However, if someone else has access to your email address or phone number and knows what is currently in use for your account's password, they can still try to get into it using one of those details as an entry point.

To help prevent this from happening again in future attacks like these:

  • Avoid using the same passwords for multiple accounts (each one should be unique).
  • Use a password manager to generate random passwords for all your accounts and then securely store them with the software/service so only you can see them (or at least make sure no one else can see them).

Set up automatic updates on your computer and mobile devices so you're always running the latest security software.

Ensure your safety by setting up automatic updates on your computer and mobile devices, so you're always running the latest security software. Here's how:

On a Mac or PC

  • Open System Preferences, click App Store and then click the "Automatically check for updates" box.
  • On your iPhone or iPad: Go to Settings > iTunes & App Store > Automatic Downloads > Updates. Toggle it on if it's not already enabled.

For your protection and others, you should change passwords frequently, never provide personal information in response to an email request, and report suspicious emails. 

Hacking scams, also called phishing, are one of the most common ways hackers gain access to your emails. Phishing emails typically look like they come from a trusted source or service and trick you into sharing sensitive information like passwords, credit card numbers, or social security numbers. If you receive an email that looks suspicious or asks for information you don't recognize, delete it! By learning to recognize phishing emails and changing passwords regularly, you can protect yourself and help protect others from falling victim to scams. 

If you think someone has been targeted with a phishing attack or other scam (for example, gift card fraud), report it here: https://www.cic.gc.ca/english/helpcentre/answer.asp?. qnum=1207&top=31.

With all these steps, you can reduce your risk of falling victim to a phishing scam. Remember that the most important thing is to remain vigilant regarding online security. The more you know about how to spot phishing scams and what they look like, the better chance you'll have at keeping yourself safe online! It’s never too late to learn how to protect yourself from phishing scams.


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