DATA DOCTORS

Tips and tools to detect and avoid computer phishing scams

Oct 31, 2022, 8:00 PM | Updated: 9:27 pm
In this photo illustration a spam 'Phishing' email is displayed on a laptop screen on March 21,2022...
In this photo illustration a spam 'Phishing' email is displayed on a laptop screen on March 21,2022 in London,England. (Photo by Peter Dazeley/Getty Images)
(Photo by Peter Dazeley/Getty Images)

Q: Are there any resources to help me teach my elderly parents how to spot phishing emails?

A: Despite all the sophisticated methods used to prevent hackers from breaking into our personal accounts, they can all be bypassed if they can trick you into giving up sensitive information.

Far and away, the method of choice for compromising users is through sophisticated phishing messages in email, via text messaging and through social media accounts.

An International coalition known as the Anti-Phishing Working Group observed 1.097,811 phishing attacks in the second quarter of 2022, which is the highest number that they have ever seen.

Social media threats grew at the fastest rate with a nearly 50% increase from Q1 to Q2 of 2022.

This trend is expected to grow because of the simplicity of launching widespread phishing attacks and frankly, because it works so well when it comes to compromising users around the world.

Learning how to spot the obvious signs that something is ‘phishy’ is a skill that everyone should be working to develop as the sophistication level continues to increase.

Common Signs of Phishing
Just about everyone knows that a file attachment in an email message should be considered suspicious, but scammers have resorted to tricks that overcome this suspicion.

A corporate logo, a sense of urgency, and fear are just a few ways that scammers get you to let your guard down.

As a general rule, every file attachment from anyone including those that you know should always be considered ‘guilty until proven innocent’ and should never be opened or downloaded.

If it’s someone you know call, text, or send a separate email to them asking about the file to confirm that it’s valid.

If you receive any file attachment that appears to be from any major delivery service such as FedEx, USPS, UPS or DHL, they are all scams as none of those services will ever send you a file attachment.

Poor grammar, strange greetings and misspelled or strange words are usually a tip-off that someone that doesn’t speak English generated the message and is most likely a phishing scam.

The two biggest tip-offs of a clear scam are the email address that is used as the sender and the URL of any links that are contained in the message. These are also the most difficult to decipher for those that aren’t very tech-savvy.

Oftentimes, the scammers will use a legitimate web address at the beginning of the web address, but if you continue to inspect the rest of the link, it leads to a completely different website.

Another red flag is any message that asks you to verify any kind of information or tells you that you need to reset your password. If you suspect that something is legitimate, manually go to that company’s website and sign into your account. If the warning is legitimate, it will show up in your account notifications.

Online Phishing Quizzes
One of the best ways to help anyone learn how to spot these increasingly more sophisticated phishing tactics is through the many online phishing quizzes:

Federal Trade Commission:
Google:
OpenDNS:
SonicWall:
PhishingBox:
NexusTek:
ESET (video):

Data Doctors

...
Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

Here are some tips on how to speed up slow starting computers

Here are some ways you can identify and solve potential issues that may be causing your computer to start up slower than normal.
6 days ago
(AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)...
Data Doctors

An explanation of how new credit cards have information stolen

If you've ever wondered how people can crack a new credit card, here's a rundown and a brief explanation on what thieves could be doing.
13 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

Here are the differences between Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge

Half of the United States uses Google Chrome as a default browser, but here are the key differences between Chrome and Microsoft Edge.
20 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Data Doctors

Tips on how and when to use the iPhone screen recording feature

Here are some tips on when and how to use the the screen recording feature located on the dropdown bar on your iPhone.
27 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Data Doctors

Tips for helping the elderly spot and avoid phishing emails

Here are things you should look out for and avoid if you are helping someone detect phishing emails on their mobile devices.
1 month ago
Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

Here are a few tips for detecting keyloggers on a MacBook

If you think you might have a keylogger on your computer, here are a few tips to help you navigate through the situation.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Tips and tools to detect and avoid computer phishing scams