Phishing and Safe browsing: 5 tips to avoid fake web pages

by | July 26, 2021 | How to

As 2020 has proven, the more time we spent on the Internet, the more chances we have to fall for phishing attacks. In this context, safe browsing has become vital in protecting users from phishing and malware.

Phishing – as old as the Internet

Starting with scammers that sent official-looking emails to AOL users, requesting their account information for fraudulent purposes, phishing have become more sophisticated.

However, it helps to know the basic features of a phishing attack. Its main ingredient is imitation: scammers create an official-looking message, with the right fonts, images, and logos that may appear to come from a bank or a company you have an account with. With a bogus, but plausible message, the phisher tries to steal your data. Recognizing phishing and learning some basics regarding safe browsing make the Internet a safer place.

Phishing Web Page

Clear your web browser cookies

Cookies collect your private information, such as the websites you visit, usernames, passwords, and tracking data. These allow websites to recognize you. While first-party cookies are stored directly by the websites you visit, third-party cookies can be transmitted to other websites.

Even though cookies don’t pose any threats to the proper functioning of your computer, some viruses and malware may be disguised as cookies. Yahoo is famous for a serious data breach that took place in 2014 that used manufactured web cookies to falsify login credentials.

Just as spring cleaning, clearing your cookies may reduce the risks of breaches. Depending on the browser you use, go to its settings and look for the privacy or security section. Next, see the cookies your browser stores and select the ones you want to delete.

HTTPS – your ally against phishing

HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) plays an important role in safe browsing because it secures the connection between your device and the website you’re visiting. As you can see in the address bar, most of the websites are HTTPS enabled and appear with a padlock on the left of the bar. When you click on the padlock it appears the text: “Connection is secure”.

Using a secure certificate known as SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encrypts the connection between your web browser and the web server that hosts the website you visit. Therefore, it prevents scammers from attempting to obtain your private information.

Phishing Web Page

Use stronger passwords

With spammers lurking on the Internet for identity theft opportunities, having strong passwords becomes mandatory. A strong password is the best way to protect your accounts and private information from phishing and malware.

Keep in mind to never use personal information, such as your name, birthday, email address, or user name, in creating a password. Also, use a longer password, at least six characters long, and include numbers, symbols, as well as uppercase and lowercase letters, to make it unbreakable. It’s also crucial not to use the same password on multiple websites.

Understanding how cyberattacks and phishing works

Nevertheless, understanding the way cyberattacks and phishing work is crucial even when it comes to safe browsing. We have an interactive training approach that helps employees understand their important role in maintaining the security of their work environment.

To make learning easier we offer multimedia lessons, elaborate quizzes, practical handouts and the possibility to track the learning progress.

Security awareness comes extremely handy in the context of increased number of data breaches.

Phishing Attack Simulator

Use browsers with safe browsing features

Safe browsers help you protect from phishing attacks, unsafe sites, and applications. In order to do so, these browsers have a feature that warns you before accessing suspected malicious sites.

Brave

With an emphasis on security, Brave is a good choice when it comes to safe browsing. Before closing the browser, it asks you what data you want to delete. Also, it has useful features such as a script blocker and HTTPS Everywhere, which increases your safety and improves the user experience.

Firefox has excellent safe browsing features.

Firefox

Firefox has excellent safe browsing features. Because it uses the Google safe browsing API for Safe Browsing, it warns you every time you access pages with phishing and malware activity.

Google Chrome

Both easy to use and secure, Google Chrome is an intuitive internet browser that comes with built-in transparency protection. Due to its safe browsing feature, it warns its users before visiting phishing and malware websites.

Every time a user of Google Safe Browsing attempts to access unsafe web pages, they’ll see a warning page that explains the harmful content of the page they want to visit.

Chromium

Google Chromium is the open-source version of Google Chrome, designed for users who want more control of their browser. With a different proprietary code, this browser makes easier the integration of third-party software and can be quite a challenge to maintain the manual updates required.

Report the phishing page for a safer browsing

Have you encountered a page that poses phishing attacks risks? You can report it to Google and contribute to maintaining a safer Internet.

by Doina Voicu

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