How To Protect Yourself From Phishing Attacks
Here’s how to recognise common traits of a phishing attack.
When people are under stress or in crisis, they frequently experience anxiety, fear or confusion and in these situations are prone to react impulsively and sometimes recklessly. But it’s exactly at times like this that you need to be extra vigilant about phishing. Particularly when you’re vulnerable and your guard is down, you may be lured into responding to an email or text message from a scammer.
Phishing is a method that criminals use to try and obtain your personal and sensitive information, such as passwords, bank & credit card details and usernames, passwords and PINs. Their aim, of course, is to defraud you of money. Here are some common indicators of phishing attacks and how to protect yourself:
- Never respond to communications asking you to provide or confirm personal data, bank details or passwords.
- Challenge, reject, refuse or ignore any messages or requests that seem suspicious or that you’re unsure of.
- Be vigilant and stay informed about the types of phishing attacks you may encounter and the tactics that criminals use.
- Know the risks of opening email attachments from unfamiliar sources, which can result in compromised information or a malware or virus infection.
- Don’t visit websites you don’t trust or click on links received from an unfamiliar source.
- Always hover over links with your mouse pointer to display the full URL (address). Also look out for misspelt domain names, secure URLs that don’t use https, and sites that begin with IP addresses.
- If you receive a communication or email from a person/entity you trust that seems unusual or suspicious, contact the person/entity directly to check the message was legitimate.
- Be extra careful with communications requesting money, fees, or upfront payments for whatever reason – these should immediately raise your suspicions.
- Look out for subtle mistakes, spelling and grammar errors, awkward wording or generic greetings in communications, as these could indicate a phishing attempt.
- Don’t be pressured into responding immediately to any communication or request you receive; scammers often use threatening language or try to create a sense of urgency to pressure you into reacting without thinking.
- Ensure all your devices are updated with the latest security patches and that antivirus solutions are current.
Vodacom also works constantly to protect our customers from criminals. If you suspect you’ve been the victim of a phishing attack, fill out Vodacom's Report Scam form to report the incident.