Almost daily, we provide personal data or enter passwords to confirm our identity. What has now become part of our everyday routine is increasingly being exploited by criminals. They pretend to be trusted senders such as our own bank or email provider and demand the disclosure or confirmation of sensitive data. The so-called "fishing" for confidential information is becoming more and more common.
Long gone are the days when this approach was easily recognizable due to numerous typos or other obvious errors. Phishing emails or calls are deceptively genuine nowadays. Therefore, it is worth responding sensitively to this issue – even simple measures can help protect yourself.
How to recognize phishing
There are characteristics that may indicate a phishing attempt or an already occurred fraud. Not all of the following signs necessarily indicate phishing, but you should be attentive in these cases:
- You are asked to disclose confidential data such as passwords or banking information.
- You are urgently requested to take action, such as confirming by clicking on a link.
- Threats are made to you if you do not act.
- The sender is unknown or misspelled.
How to protect yourself from phishing
- Check attachments and links: Only open attachments and click on links if you know the sender and the email does not seem suspicious.
- Change passwords: Regularly change your passwords and never choose easily guessable terms or birthdates.
- Check user accounts: Regularly check for any activity on your bank account, orders made in your name, or anything similar that you did not initiate.
- Use two-factor authentication: Where possible, activate this feature. You will receive an additional confirmation code via email or SMS after each password entry.
- Activate protection software: Protect your computer, smartphones, and personal data with programs like antivirus. With the Zurich Cyber Security App, you get multiple protection functions in one app, such as the "Safe Browsing" feature that warns against suspicious websites and links.
If you still fall victim to phishing, it is important to report it – depending on the type of incident, to the email provider, online shop, or employer. For example, if you receive a suspicious email sent in the name of an online shop, you should inform the customer service of that particular shop.