How Do I Protect My Email From Phishing in 2023?

Email is one of the most common ways hackers steal sensitive information and incite data breaches. It only takes one person to fall for phishing, and attackers continue to evolve their strategies.


Photo by Dan Nelson on Unsplash

New phishing attacks use real accounts to spread malware or trick recipients into handing over sensitive credentials. It’s why it’s essential for organizations to implement DMARC and encourage their contacts to do so, too.

Understanding Phishing

Phishing is a cybercrime that involves hackers using spam, fake websites made to look real, email and instant messages to trick you into divulging sensitive information such as passwords, credit card numbers and personal data. This information is then used to steal your money or your identity. It only takes one person to click on a phishing link to trigger a full-scale attack.

The good news is that phishing attacks are not just a matter of luck for attackers, and there are many ways to protect your email from phishing. You can start by understanding what phishing is and how it works.

Hackers use imposter emails to appear as if they’re coming from your company, or even your own email address. 

They may use wording that is similar to your business’s language or even copy content directly from your website. This makes them more believable to employees who are looking at their work email.

Educating employees about best practices when it comes to email/internet browsing can help them to spot red flags in phishing attempts such as misspellings or inconsistencies. 

Also Read: How To Disable Avast Antivirus or Turn Off Avast Antivirus Temporarily

Recognizing and Avoiding Phishing Attacks

Phishing is one of the most common cybercrimes, and it is important to understand how to recognize and avoid such attacks. The best way to protect yourself from phishing attacks is by being aware of common signs that an email or website may be fraudulent. 

Some telltale signs of a potential phishing attack include emails with poor grammar, requests for personal information in emails, and links that lead to unfamiliar websites. 

Wary of any email or web pages asking you for your username and passwords. If the site appears suspicious, it’s best to not click on any links or enter any information into the site. 

Always double-check the sender’s address before clicking on any links. If the sender’s address looks suspicious, it’s best to delete the email immediately. Be aware of phishing emails disguised as legitimate business or government entities. 

Be cautious when you receive an unfamiliar email or visit a website that seems suspicious. By being aware of these common signs of phishing attacks, you can stay safe from such cybercrimes. If you ever feel like you may have been targeted by a phishing attack, contact your IT department for help in resolving the issue. 

It is also important to remember that you should never provide personal information, such as credit card numbers and Social Security numbers, over the Internet. Doing so could put your identity and personal information at risk. Always make sure to keep your computer software updated and use strong passwords to protect yourself online. 

By being vigilant and recognizing the signs of a phishing attack, you can take the necessary steps to stay safe from cybercriminals. With the proper precautions in place, you can protect yourself and your organization from becoming victims of cybercrime.  

Keeping Your Software and Operating System Up to Date

When it comes to protecting yourself from phishing attacks, one of the most important things you can do is keep your software and operating system up to date. This may seem like a tedious task, but it’s essential for avoiding potential security issues or malware that could be used in phishing attacks. 

Many of the newest versions of popular programs and operating systems come with increased security features designed to protect against malicious attempts to access personal information. 

Installing updates when they are available will not only help keep your system protected from potential threats, but also ensure you have access to new features and bug fixes. 

Depending on your OS, there may already be auto-update options enabled, so it’s best to double check these settings first. 

You may want to periodically check for updates manually on popular programs or applications you use often in order to keep them up to date as well. Taking the time to stay updated can go a long way in protecting yourself from phishing attacks.

Using a Password Manager

Using a password manager is one of the best ways to protect yourself from phishing. 

A password manager can help you generate strong, unique passwords for all of your accounts and store them securely in an encrypted database on your computer or mobile device. This prevents attackers from guessing or tampering with your passwords, as they will be unable to access the stored information without knowing the master password. 

Most password managers have built-in two-factor authentication measures that require users to enter additional information (such as a code sent via SMS) when signing in to their account from an unrecognized device. This helps protect against unauthorized access even if someone were able to guess or steal your credentials. 

Password managers also include features that can alert you if any of your accounts have been compromised in a data breach. This allows you to take proactive measures and update your passwords before an attacker has a chance to misuse them. 

Many password managers also provide browser extensions that can detect phishing attempts when you’re browsing the web, so you can avoid clicking on malicious links or entering sensitive information into suspicious forms. 

By leveraging the full suite of features offered by a password manager, you can significantly reduce your risk of becoming a victim of phishing. 

Securing Your Wi-Fi Network

One of the most important steps in protecting your home Wi-Fi network from phishing attacks is to secure it. Securing your Wi-Fi network involves setting up a strong password and enabling encryption on your router. 

A strong password should be at least 8 characters long, including upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. It should also not be similar to any common words or phrases that could easily be guessed by hackers. You should create a unique password for each account connected to your Wi-Fi network as well. 

Enabling encryption is essential for protecting against phishing attacks. Encryption scrambles data sent over the network so that only authorized users can access it. 

There are two types of encryption available: WEP and WPA2. WEP is an older protocol that is not secure; it should be avoided if possible. WPA2 is the strongest and most secure form of encryption, and it should be used whenever possible. 

Make sure your router’s firmware is up to date. Router manufacturers often release updates to fix security flaws or improve performance, so staying current can help protect your network from known vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit. 

Avoiding Public Wi-Fi

Phishing attacks on public Wi-Fi networks can be a major problem. It is important to remember that if you are using public Wi-Fi, you should take precautions to protect yourself. Here are some tips for avoiding phishing attacks when using public Wi-Fi: 

  • Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN will encrypt your data and keep it private even if an attacker is trying to intercept your connection. This helps protect your personal information and any passwords you might transmit while connected to the network.
  • Avoid connecting to unsecured networks or networks with weak encryption protocols. If possible, connect only to secure networks that have strong encryption protocols in place, such as WPA2 or WPA3.
  • Turn off file sharing on your device. File sharing can leave your device vulnerable to attack if someone is able to access the shared files.
  • Be aware of emails or links from unknown sources. Never click on a link in an email that you don’t recognize, as it could be a phishing attempt. If you do open a suspicious email, make sure not to download any attachments until you are sure they are safe. 

By taking these precautions and being aware of potential threats while using public Wi-Fi networks, you can help protect yourself from phishing attacks. 

It is important to stay vigilant and remain mindful of any warnings that may indicate something malicious is going on while connected to public Wi-Fi networks. Taking the time to educate yourself on phishing attacks and how to protect yourself is an important step in avoiding them. 

Final Considerations

To protect yourself from phishing, you must be vigilant and keep up with the latest security trends. Be sure to review any suspicious emails before clicking on links or downloading attachments. 

Use strong passwords that are changed regularly and use two-factor authentication when available. If you receive a message that looks like it’s from an account you don’t recognize, don’t interact with it – instead, report it as spam. 

Finally, stay informed about the latest scams and contact your bank or IT administrator if you have any questions or notice suspicious activity on your accounts.