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Have you ever received an email prompting you to click on an external link? Did the link take you to the login page of a certain website? If this has happened to you, then you may have been a target of a phishing attack.
What is a phishing attack?
A phishing attack refers to a hacking tactic wherein a perpetrator masquerades as a trustworthy entity in order to trick potential victims into giving away sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, credit card numbers and banking credentials.
There are many types of phishing attacks. Here are three of the most common ones:
This type of phishing attack, as the name suggests, uses social engineering as its primary attack vector. Usually, there are two components involved: a scam email and a spoof website. The email, which is designed to appear is if it was sent by a legitimate source, is used to direct the victim to the spoof website, which is a page that looks like a real website but is actually an imitation site created for the purpose of collective sensitive information from victims. Once the credentials are entered, they are automatically sent to the perpetrators.
In pharming, cyber criminals collect sensitive information by redirecting a website’s traffic to a spoof site, similar to those used in email phishing. The perpetrators can do this in a number of ways; they can exploit a vulnerability in DNS server software, or they can set up a computer so that all traffic from that computer is redirected to the spoof site, among other techniques.
Man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks
In MITM phishing, a perpetrator collects information by secretly establishing a position between a user and a website being visited by that user. This type of phishing attack usually does not involve a spoof website; rather, a hacker simply eavesdrops on the exchange of information between the user and the website, capturing information in the process.
Protect yourself using the best Internet security VPN
Phishing is a highly effective tactic that is easy to pull off and is one of the biggest threats facing today’s Internet users. This is evidenced by the continuous rise in the number of phishing websites in recent years.
According to a report published in 2016 by anti-cybercrime group Anti-Phishing Working Group, the number of unique websites used for phishing attacks was recorded at around 289,300 in the first quarter of 2016, compared to an estimated 44,500 recorded in the preceding quarter.
If you’re not careful, you can become a victim of phishing. That’s why you need to employ measures to ensure that you’re not at risk of unknowingly giving away your sensitive information. One of these measures is using an Internet security VPN such as Hotspot Shield when surfing online.
Hotspot Shield VPN is an Internet security VPN that protects you from phishing sites so you can enjoy your online sessions without worry. It does does this by notifying you if you are about to visit a phishing site, which is made possible by a database of malware sites and phishing sites, updated regularly.
Aside from this, Hotspot Shield also uses advanced encryption to protect your information from being intercepted by hackers and snoopers while in transit. You can enjoy all of these benefits and more at no cost, as this Internet security VPN is free to download.
Don’t be a victim of phishing attacks by installing the best Internet security VPN on your device now! To learn more, please visit the Hotspot Shield website. You can also read our other posts for other tips on online security, anonymity and more.