In terms of cybersecurity, spoofing is the act of cybercriminals posing as a trusted party to illegally gain access to someone’s personal information. These attacks can take many forms and can be difficult to detect and prevent. Thankfully, there are ways of protecting your information and avoiding these specific types of cyberattacks. Read on for more about spoof attacks and for five ways you can avoid them.
1) BLOCK SUSPICIOUS PHONE CALLS
One of the more common forms a spoofing attack can take is through phone calls. Criminals who utilize spoofing methods take advantage of their victims’ trust for a certain individual or company. Through phone call spoofing, criminals can mimic the name and number of a party you trust and use them to call you, in which they attempt to harvest your personal information.
There are many methods you can take to stop these suspicious calls from accessing your personal information. For instance, you have ways to automatically filter out untrusted calls on your cell phone. Check your phone’s settings, as your phone may come with privacy measures built into it, which can filter potential scam calls. For a more precise method, you can use special apps for your phone to prevent calls from unknown or suspicious numbers.
As a general rule, be wary of any messages left that ask you for information such as your social security number and credit card details. Companies you trust will never ask you for these things, so be sure to not relinquish this information, as the caller is trying to take advantage of your trust.
2) USE EMAIL SPAM FILTERS
Another common type of spoofing takes the form of emails disguised as messages from trusted parties. Similar to spoofed calls, these emails will try to extract personal information from victims under the guise of a familiar name.
For less sophisticated measures of scam emails, the name of the sender may match up with a name you trust, but the sender’s email address may be different. You should first check to see if the email address lines up with the name and appears to be someone from your contacts list.
More sophisticated spoofing measures, however, will mimic the address of the trusted party and be indistinguishable from the real article at first glance. In this case, you should use advanced spam filters and email authentication software to prevent these spoofed e-mails from reaching your inbox. Always be on alert for messages that ask for your personal information, as you should not respond to these emails.
3) USE ANTIVIRUS SOFTWARE
Antivirus software can protect users from a wide array of common cyberattacks. Ensure your devices always have some form of protection from malware, as cybersecurity can help filter spoof attacks and prevent other forms of malicious software from reaching you. Antivirus software allows you to detect and eliminate any suspicious files that a spoofer might try to use against you.
4) USE A VIRTUAL PRIVATE NETWORK (VPN)
A Virtual Private Network is a type of network security that disguises the user’s internet activity. A VPN makes users’ online activity difficult for outside parties to detect, thus reducing the likelihood of cyberattacks taking place. A VPN is a reliable form of cybersecurity for keeping your online activity private and for preventing anybody from accessing your personal information. This software will make your identity more difficult for cybercriminals to find and exploit with spoof attacks.
5) USE FIREWALLS
A firewall acts as a protective barrier between your network and outside networks. Like a VPN, it makes your server more difficult for unauthorized users to access. With your online identity and data protected via these forms of cybersecurity, you may be less likely to fall victim to spoof attacks and other malware.
Cybercriminal activity grows more common every year. As cyberattacks become more sophisticated and robust, so too do the methods of preventing them. Stay aware of the ways you can be targeted by cyberattacks so you can protect yourself to ensure a safe online experience.