Best Ways to Avoid Phishing Scams through Defence Mechanism

MailXaminer | January 17th, 2020 | Forensics

If you are an internet user, you are at a risky phase. This is because phishing attack & email spoofing has been affecting users increasingly and vigorously!!

What is it? How to avoid phishing scams? How can these tricks affect us? Email phishing scams has been been a growing threat in cyberspace which can severely affect the internet user in a very serious way. So, continue reading this blog and know the best ways to avoid phishing scams.

What To Do When Phishing Attack Happens?

Phishing is a fraud in which cybercriminals target any reputed or legitimate organization to obtain sensitive information from them. After getting the information, they use this to steal their data, money, and even employee’s identity. They execute these attacks through several communication mediums such as text messages, emails, phone calls, fake websites, etc. Recipients can simply delete or avoid such types of scamming emails or messages to avoid phishing scams.

Keep reading the post to recognize phishing email messages or links and prevent yourself from becoming the victim of cybercrimes.

avoid phishing scams

Know All Possible Cyber Security Defence Mechanism

In this section, we will describe several phishing detections and cyber protection techniques based on website or links detection schemes. Along with the techniques based on blacklisted website schemes, heuristic schemes, etc. Additionally, some features are described here to prevent phishing on how the phisher redirects the victim and make them fool. They can be used to recognize phishing email messages or links either on the server-side or client-side.

So, in the next section, we are going to discuss the classification of defence mechanisms and the best ways to avoid phishing scams. Also, users can check out this computer forensic tool to examine the artefacts :

A. User Education

Why do individuals and organizations are increasingly falling into phishing? What should be the preventive measures to avoid phishing attacks? Lack of knowledge and awareness leads them to fall as a victim in scam. People are working with computers and the internet to avail the benefits of its smart features. At the same time, it also imposes risks and hazards which can be also be quite threatening. Moreover, phishing issues can be fixed and prevented to a greater extent by detecting the nature of emails. Therefore, it is important that users must be aware of anti-phishing education to easily identify phishing email and protect themselves from phishing email scams.

B. Protection from Phishing Emails

Phishing emails are one of the traditional and most common ways of email threats. Users transfer an email through MUA (Multi User-Agent) then it gets delivered to Mail Transfer Agent (MTA) and finally received by MDA (Message Delivery Agent). This is the process to transfer an email through the computer network. To prevent from phishing attacks, user can adopt curative steps by securing the network path, as discussed below:

I. Network Level Protection

Network-level protection is technically termed as “Blacklist filters”. It is the mechanism to resist or block the IP address or domain name which are listed as phishers or scammers. Some examples of these filters are Anti-Spam Filters, DNS Based Filters, etc. It is a way to prevent phishing attacks by disallowing the communication from the blacklist listed harmful domains.

II. Authentication

Knowing the authentication of an email helps to recognize and prevent users from phishing email messages or links. Authentication allows to check whether the attacker is pretending to be a valid sender or an attacker to examine email. It increases the security at both the levels i.e., user-level & server-level. At the user level, it is ensured by the passwords that may be possibly crack by phishers. But authentication at a sever level is ensured by the service provider, which typically authenticates emails by using the hash of passwords as digital signatures. It is one of the popularly used ways to avoid phishing scams.

III. Feature-Based Email Classification

Phishers generally use the strategy in which users click on an embedded link that takes him to the fake web page. The spam email carries an embedded URL with the email structure that asks the user to disclose confidential data. However, these emails are extracted by using different features such as link features, structural features, word list feature, etc. It can easily be detected the phishing email message by using previous cognition as the phisher may be using a repeated pattern by disturbing some email features to fool their victims.

C. Protection from Phishing Websites

A fake website is designed similar to a legitimate website, hence users need to detect it to avoid phishing scams. To attract the victim towards a fake website without knowing that they are under phishing attack, the phisher ensures that webpage looks genuine. However, detection of these fake websites are only under the control of client-side that may help to recognize phishing. The characteristics may be classified as:

I. Whitelist and Blacklist Websites

Whitelisted websites are the collection of websites having legitimate addresses and URLs. Whereas blacklisted websites are the ones which carries the phishing IP addresses and URLs which is detected in the past. Blacklists have lower FP (false positive) rates than heuristics and whitelists generally reduce these FP rates.

II. Heuristic Solution

Heuristics refers to the set of rules used to solve problems and learning purposes. They are based on some previous results and experiences. To detect a phishing email message, based on heuristics is found to be effective on zero-day phishing attacks. These are the facts based on gathered real-time phishing attacks. Furthermore, browsers such as Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, etc. use these heuristic facts and solutions to avoid phishing scams.

III. Visual Similarities

Visual similarities is one of the most important property maintain by the phishers in a scam, so that the user cannot distinguish easily between a fake and original targeted page. If fake page visual appearance not appears similar to the original page then there will be very fewer chances to make the victim fool. So if the user have any doubt, first check the URI or SSL certification or the protocols like https in the address bar.

Time to Conclude

With the increase in email phishing and other frauds, it is important to mitigate them. This blog has elaborated the best ways to avoid phishing scams by following the various defensive mechanisms. Therefore, be wise and take the necessary steps to prevent phishing attacks in a smart way.