Phishing is a terminology that helps describe the activity through which personal particulars such as financial details such as credit cards, username and passwords are tactfully retrieved from naive Web users. Unlike the hackers who break into a network or computer system and steals the confidential information, Phishing is usually done with the full cooperation of the victim. This is perhaps what makes it a lot more dangerous.
Phishers generally masquerade as reliable entities by impersonating popular websites and organizations. They would send a message to thousands of naïve users asking them to verify their username password, threatening them that their accounts would be terminated if they do not do so. Most people never check the authenticity of these messages and instantly abide by with their requests. Especially when the message is written in an authoritative tone, people immediately respond to it to avoid any sort of disruptions in the services they are receiving. This usually compels them into sharing confidential details which they would otherwise do not prefer sharing with anyone else over the Web.
The term Phishing was initially used in year 1996, and is a variant of fishing. Just as bait it thrown in the fishing to catch an unsuspecting fish, phishers send messages anticipating that their victims will be hooked by simply responding to their messages. Phishing basically started in the AOL network and then gradually moved to the financial institutions as E-commerce industry gained popularity with the passage of time.
Anti-Phishing Initiatives You Must Consider
Stricter regulations and technological improvements have been enforced to comprise of phishing as far as possible. Public awareness is perhaps the most effective weapon against this threat. Phishing happens to be successful primarily because the general public is being ignorant. Once they become cautious of such activities, phishing would lose much of its potency. Massive efforts have been made to educate the users and make them aware of such online menace. Consequently, more people have now become aware of phishing threats and are a lot more cautious than they used to be a year ago.
Improvised browser design has made identifying phishing attempts a lot easier. Most of the latest browsers comprise of antiphishing features, which makes it easier to identify fraudulent URLs. Firefox plays its part by allowing users to create their own labels for their preferred sites. In case a phisher tries to redirect them to a similar looking site, the browser would immediately warm them or would just right away block access to the fraudulent website. Most of the leading browsers also maintain their own list of the known phishing websites, which they can instantly block in case the user tries to visit any of them.
Phishing should be handled using a multi-pronged approach. Stricter rules, cutting edge technology and superior user awareness are some of the prime defenses that can comprise of this online threat.
Erika Somogyi copyright 2017