Phishing scams are quite common these days. Many business employees and individuals become targets of such scams. Hackers make people click on phishing links, and this way steal their data.
It is important to know what to do if you click on a phishing link, the dangers of opening spam emails, and the unknown email attachments. This knowledge is essential to mark yourself safe from cybercrimes.
Table of Contents
- What to Do if You Click on a Phishing Link?
- Clicked on the Phishing Link But Did Not Enter Details
- Dangers of Opening Spam Emails
- Dangers of Opening Unknown Email Attachments
- Victim of Phishing What to Do?
- How to Prevent Phishing Attacks?
What to Do if You Click on a Phishing Link?
The phishing and malicious email look like it is from a legitimate source while it is not. This way, the hacker gains your trust and makes you click on the phishing link.
Well, if you have clicked on the phishing link, then you need to do the following things right away.
1) Switch Off Internet on Your Device
If you clicked on the phishing link, then in the first place, disconnect the internet on your device.
This way, if any malware or spyware entered your device via that phishing link, then it won’t spread to the other devices in the network.
2) Make a Backup
Secondly, back up your device.
This is because clicking on that phishing link could destroy or erase your data.
Make a backup of your device’s data on some external device like a USB or an external hard drive. It is recommended to make a backup on the device that doesn’t need internet access.
3) Scan the Device
Now scan your device for viruses. You can do so by installing an antivirus on your device.
On completion of the scan, if any malicious files are found, delete them immediately.
4) Change Credentials
Immediately change your credentials on the account from which you clicked on that malicious link.
Do set a strong password.
5) Setup Two Factor Authentication
This adds a security layer to your account.
Also, if any hacker tries to get access to your account, you will receive a notification about it.
6) Web Content Filtering
If you are still getting emails with phishing links in your email inbox, then you need to set up some security features for that.
7) Clean Browser Data
Also, clear the browser cache and cookies.
8) Switch off Extra Accounts
Close the account that you don’t need to use. This is because such accounts can work as open ports for an attacker to attack you.
Recommended Read Top Techniques to Prevent Man in the Middle Attack
9) Check Other Devices
Also, check other devices that are on the same network as the device on which a phishing link was clicked. Scan them too.
10) Report Spam Email
By reporting spam emails, you train your account spam filter to avoid getting those emails in the primary inbox.
What if I Clicked on a Phishing Link on My Android Phone?
As long as you don’t enter any information on that site, you are safe.
But it is better to scan your device for viruses.
Also, make a backup of this data.
Clicked on the Phishing Link But Did Not Enter Details
- You need to remain calm first.
- If by clicking on the link anything was downloaded to your device, then your device is a security risk. Scan it immediately.
- If that’s not the case, i.e., nothing is downloaded, and also, you didn’t enter any of your details on the site when you are safe.
Dangers of Opening Spam Emails
There could be some dangerous and malicious content in the spam emails.
There might be spyware tracking your email. So avoid opening spam emails. Clicking on the link installs spyware on your device. Thus if such happened, you immediately need to detect spyware and remove it from the phone.
Most often, spam emails have images and fonts that need to be downloaded from the webserver of the sender.
When you open an email that has an embedded image, some information is sent from your side to the server that hosts that image.
This information is the IP address, OS, location, device language, time, and device time.
Although this information doesn’t seem to be any sensitive information, hackers can use it to draft a second and a more tailored email to you that could get your attention, and this way make you click on the link in the email.
Dangers of Opening Unknown Email Attachments
Do scan them before opening. Otherwise, the malicious attachment could corrupt your hard drive.
This way, hackers could also spy on the activities you do on your device and steal your data.
Cybercriminals can hack your device and keep your data hostage too.
Also, Checkout Computer Virus Types
What to Do if You Open a Suspicious Email Attachment on Android?
Opening such attachments could bring malware and ransomware infection to your drive. Scan your device immediately.
Victim of Phishing What to Do?
- First, take a calm breath.
- If you downloaded an attachment from the phishing email, then turn off the wifi and perform a virus scan.
- Change password on your important accounts.
- Report that phishing email to the company.
- If you gave any of your important details on the site, then watch out for the signs of identity theft. If you find any of them, then consult your credit card company.
How to Prevent Phishing Attacks?
- Use that browser to browse the internet, which offers good security.
- Make use of the ad blocker to block unwanted hosts.
- Keep your email account clean by unsubscribing from unnecessary emails and newsletters.
- Before clicking a link in the email, do read the email thoroughly.
- Verify the sender.
- Avoid using your main email account every time. Make use of a second or a temporary email account for rough use.
- Don’t click on links and images in unrecognized emails.
- Avoid signing up too much for the newsletter and promotional emails from unknown companies.
- Scammers make use of software to scrape email account addresses for malicious purposes. Thus avoid revealing your email address online.
Phishing websites trick you and get your sensitive details. These fake sites look identical to popular recognized sites, and this way, by gaining your trust, ask you for your details.
If you clicked on any such link, then avoid giving your details on it.
Now, as you have known what to do if you click on a phishing link, you can also follow the security steps to safeguard your device and important data.
Also, Read Email Security Best Practices