7 Ways to Identify a Phishing Website

From 3-year-olds to our grannies, everyone uses the internet for one reason or another. However, regardless of age and purpose, everyone who uses it should know How to identify a phishing website. This prevents them from being trapped consent phishing and other types of phishing attacks.

According to the FBI Internet Crime 2019 Report, cyberattacks and scams resulted in a total loss of $57 million. This is enough to indicate the alarming situation and the need to check a link for phishing. Email is one of the most common entry points for fraudsters. so you should know what to do if you click on a phishing link.

Read on to understand how to identify phishing urls and even forward the information to your colleagues, friends and family members. So, stick around till the end to find out all about it.

What are the common characteristics of phishing websites?

In March 2022, Hapag-Lloyd, one of the world’s leading container shipping companies, fell victim to cybercrime when its customers were told to log into a copied website that looked exactly like the official website. It allowed cybercriminals to access highly confidential data.

To remain protected from such fraudulent acts, it is necessary recognize and avoid email phishinglest you can afford to lose your personal information or money.

Now, before moving on to the main topic, let’s take a quick look at the common characteristics of a phishing website.

  • A phishing website looks like the original because cybercriminals copy the theme, information, graphics, and other intricate details.
  • It may link certain pages (such as contact us or careers) to those on the originating website.
  • It often uses the name of the original website.
  • It usually has a similar form to collect personal information.

How to check a link for phishing?

do you know how to check a link for phishing? Well, most of us don’t know how to identify and prevent these cyber threats.

Cybersecurity Ventures has predicted that the global cybersecurity budget will experience a sharp 15% growth year over year between 2021 and 2025.

Well, phishing attacks aren’t going anywhere. Do not worry. We will show you how to know if a link is a phishing url. It’s a must-have for cyber awareness in today’s digital age. So let’s see what you can do to save yourself from harm.

1. Check the URL

To learn how to identify phishing urls, you need to verify the authenticity of the web address. If it starts with “http://” instead of “https://”, be careful. The extra “S” means the website is encrypted and secured with an SSL certificate. An SSL certificate is like a code that promotes additional security for online communications.

However, nowadays phishers have also started using “https://”, so this aspect is not a surefire sign.

Some of the other ways to check phishing linkshould be noted closely:

  • If the spelling is correct. Usually fake websites have an extra letter “S” or “A” in the spelling. For example, www.walmarts.com or www.flipkaart.com.
  • If ‘O’ has been replaced by ‘0’ (zero). For example, “www.yah00.com”.
  • If the URL contains extra or missing characters or symbols. For example, a legitimate URL is www.coca-cola.com (with a hyphen), but the wrong one might be www.cocacola.com (without a hyphen).

There are free tools like our Phishing URL checker which uses advanced machine learning to identify these discrepancies.

2. Compare content quality

Content on the original website will be clear, well-written, and free from grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors. Even if the fake site is a carbon copy of the original, the visuals may be lower resolution.

3. Check if content is missing

do you know how to identify phishing urls with a single click? Simply go to the “Contact Us” page. If there are no credible contact details, it is probably a phishing website.

4. Is this personal information demanding?

We often receive e-mails inviting us to click on the given link. If a pop-up appears asking for personal information such as your phone number, email address, password, residential address, bank details, ID number, etc., consider this a flag Red.

In this case, always refrain from giving any kind of information. You can share this tip with acquaintances, co-workers and employees who want to learn How to identify a phishing website.

Discover some concrete examples of phishing emails and learn to identify red flags.

5. Is this an unsecured website?

Sometimes we try to visit a website, but we receive a security alert: “the connection is not secure”. In such a situation, it is crucial to understand how to recognize a phishing links. First, click on the padlock icon that appears on the left side of the URL.

In this way, you can avail yourself of information relating to security certificates and cookies. A cookie is a file in which a user’s data is stored and sent to the owner of the website.

In most cases, it provides a better user experience; however, phishers often tend to misuse this information.

6. Use a fake password

If a suspicious website asks for a password, enter the wrong one. If you are still logged in or see a dot indicating that you have entered the correct password, this is a 100% fake website. This trick can help you escape these social engineering attacks.

7. Check payment method

If a website asks for direct bank transfer instead of debit cards, credit cards, and payment options like PayPal, you need to be careful. This may indicate that no bank has approved credit card facilities for the website domain, and they might be doing some malicious activity.

How to report a phishing website

Now that you have a good understanding of how to tell if a link is a phishing urlyou also need to learn how to report a phishing website with ease.

The global pandemic, series of lockdowns and rising unemployment have increased the number of scammers. Google reported an average of 46,000 new phishing websites every week in 2020.

If you come across such suspicious websites, go to Google Report Phishing page. Just paste the URL and add any additional information.

The post office 7 Ways to Identify a Phishing Website appeared first on EasyDMARC.

*** This is a syndicated blog from the Security Bloggers Network of EasyDMARC written by Hasmik Khachunts. Read the original post at: https://easydmarc.com/blog/7-ways-to-identify-a-phishing-website/

Sherry J. Basler