Cybercrimes have become so rampant in Nigeria. Phishing is a cybercrime in which a target or targets are contacted by email, telephone, or text message by someone posing as a legitimate institution to lure individuals into providing sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, banking, and credit card details and passwords.
In a report carried out by Deloitte, named Nigeria Cyber Security Outlook Year 2020, a prediction was made that many cyberattacks in 2020 will move from big “well prepared” organizations to the seemingly unlikely targets, especially companies who are of the notion that they are not prone to cyber-attacks or do not have enough resources to attract any attack.
The report also stated that in 2019, Phishing and Business Email Compromise (BEC) were the most common and successful attacks as they prey on human emotions and give rise to higher profits for the attackers, and that, 2020 will likely witness a sharp rise in this trend. Putting all this into consideration, we must begin to examine ways to curb this menace. Some of the ways phishing can be curbed are:
1. Be Informed: Make it a point of duty to be up to date with news about phishing techniques, to avoid falling prey to one. Knowledge is many things, it is power and is also security. Being informed about these techniques places you at a much lower risk of falling victim to one. There are various training on cybercrimes that are carried out from time to time, participating in this training is another way of staying aloft of affairs going on around you.
2. Click only links from trusted sites: Only click on links when you’re on trusted sites. Links appear everywhere, in emails, messages, and from all other sources. It can be very tempting to click on them especially when the information preceding them looks enticing but, you must click on only links from trusted sites. Also, be very wary of filling in your details on sites. Some of these sites are fraudulent and are just traps laying in waiting.
3. Make use of Anti-phishing tools: Anti-phishing tools are tools that attempt to identify and block phishing content contained in websites, e-mail, or other forms used to access data mostly from the internet usually with a warning to the user accompanied with an option to view the content regardless. Most popular Internet browsers can be customized with anti-phishing toolbars. If you navigate into a fraudulent site, the toolbar will alert you about it. This is just one more layer of protection against phishing scams, and these tools are mostly free.
4. Always carry out site verifications: There are various ways to verify a site. Before inputting your details on any site, verify the sight to avoid placing sensitive financial information into the wrong hands. One of the ways to verify a site is to ensure the site’s URL begins with “https” and that there is a closed lock icon near the address bar. Another way is to check for the site’s security certificate. Never download files from untrusted sources. Even search engines may show certain links that may lead users to a phishing webpage that offers promotions or flash sales. If the user mistakenly inputs card or banking details at such a website, the credit card details will be accessed by cybercriminals.
5. Carry out constant account check-ups: Do not just abandon your accounts, always carry out constant cheek-ups. This is to ensure that they are not being tampered with. Get into the habit of changing your passwords regularly too. Also, pay attention to your bank details, get, and personally check your statements regularly to ensure no fraudulent transactions have been made without your knowledge.
6. Be Wary of Pop-Ups: Pop-up windows often seem as legitimate components of a website but, more often than not, they are phishing attempts. Many browsers give options of blocking pop-ups but, if you come by any pop-up, rather than clicking on the “cancel” button, click the small “x” in the upper corner of the window because, oftentimes, the cancel button leads to phishing sites.
One can only escape being a victim of phishing by observing precautionary measures. These tips are to ensure that you enjoy a worry-free online experience.
There is no single solution when it comes to avoiding phishing attacks but, observing a set of deliberate and safety-oriented actions would go a long way.