Phishing attacks use seemingly trustworthy but malicious emails and websites to obtain your personal account or banking information. The attacks are often highly effective because they appear to come from an organization or business you may actually use. The scam comes into play by tricking you into visiting a website you believe belongs to the trustworthy organization, but in fact is under the control of a cybercriminal attempting to obtain your private information. Learn how to protect yourself against phishing attacks.

Phishing and Cybersecurity

How to protect yourself against phishing attacks

A cybercriminal will send an email that appears to be from a reputable credit card company or financial institution. This email suggests that there is a problem with your account. When users respond with the requested information, the cybercriminal can use this information to gain access to the accounts.


A good precaution is to always hover over a link before clicking on it and observe the status line in your browser to verify that the link in the text and the destination link are in fact the same.

Spell Check

Cybercriminals are smart, and getting smarter all the time. Links can have hard-to-detect misspellings that would result in visiting a site very different than what you expected.


Use anti-malware software, but don’t rely on it to catch all attacks. Cybercriminals often change their approach to keep ahead of the anti-malware software developers.


If you are asked to enter valuable information, only do so if you’re on a secure connection. Look for the “https” prefix before the site URL, indicating the site is employing SSL.

Avoid Public Wi-Fi

Avoid logging in to financial websites via public Wi-Fi. Criminals can compromise open networks and capture information or spoof website addresses which redirect you to a fake page they control.

Two-factor Verification

An account that allows only a single factor for authentication is more susceptible to hacking than one that supports multiple factors

Back up your data to help protect against phishing

An important way to avoid becoming a victim is to always be vigilant for suspicious emails, and also to assume that no matter what you do, it is very possible that your system will be compromised. You need to make sure that all of your data that could be compromised by cybercriminals is backed up and is not your only copy.