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5 Ways to Identify A Phishing Website

5 Ways to Identify A Phishing Website

5 Ways to Identify A Phishing Website Workplace Connect

Phishing websites have increasingly become more common. It has even been found that a new phishing website is created every 20 seconds. Therefore, it is likely a cybercriminal will target you with a phishing website at least once. To ensure you don’t become a victim of these sites we want to explain to you what to look out for with these 5 tips.

 

  1. Check the URL

Checking the URL can be an easy way to identify if the website is a phishing website. If you get sent a link through an email or message, you can hover over the link with your cursor to see if the URL is legitimate. You can see if the website is real through the spelling of the URL, or if the URL starts with ‘https://’ because this means the website has an SSL certificate; an SSL certificate means that the website is encrypted and secure. However, it is worth noting that some cybercriminals have bought an SSL certificate for their site so remain cautious and look out for the other tips we will explain.

Cybercriminals will slightly change the spelling of their URL to trick people into thinking the site is an official one. Therefore, make sure you check the spelling carefully because these criminals will do their best to fool you, it could be as simple as adding or taking away one letter. Another way they will try to fool you is by replacing certain letters with numbers, so it looks exactly the same; for example, replacing ‘o’ with the number ‘0’. A final way the URL can be changed is by adding extra symbols to fool you such as an extra ‘.’. If you are unsure you can search for a legitimate website and compare the URL against it.

  

  1. Access to Website

Another way to identify if the website is a phishing website is how you were given access to it. Cybercriminals have been known to impersonate entities to make you click on the link and enter your personal details; an example of this is when many people were receiving text messages with a website link regarding a parcel being delivered. The link would ask you to enter personal details that the cybercriminals can use for their own personal gain. If the link was sent to you unexpectedly then be wary of where the link is coming from. Never enter any personal details until you have had confirmation from the legitimate business that this is something they require from you.

There are many ways links can be sent to you, including: 

  • Social media messages 
  • Text messages 
  • Emails 

  

  1. Content of the Website

If you have entered the website and you are still unsure of whether you have entered a phishing website, you can check the content within it. Legitimate websites will make sure everything is working smoothly and will also have high-quality content. Therefore, there are a range of things you can look out for to identify if it is a phishing website; such as:

  • Low-resolution images – professional websites will always have high-resolution images and cybercriminals will not be able to achieve this 
  • Bad spelling – if there is bad spelling throughout the website then it is likely to be a phishing website 
  • Poor language skills – if there is broken English across the web pages then we would assume it is not from someone who is a native speaker or a professional who runs the business

A final bit of content you should look out for is either a contact us page or a contact us section.  Cybercriminals will avoid adding this on because they wouldn’t want anyone to know who they are or where they are from. If the website shows no address, email or phone number, then we would assume it is a phishing website.

  

  1. Payment Methods

A legitimate website will accept a range of payment methods such as credit/debit cards or PayPal. However, phishing websites will usually ask for a bank transfer which is not a usual way of transferring money to a business.

The reason why cybercriminals will use bank transfers as their method of payment is because it is a lot harder for a bank to get your money back once you discover it is a scam. When you pay online using a debit or credit card the banks are able to claim your money back once you discover it was a scam. Therefore, never purchase anything on a website if it is asking you to bank transfer money, this offers you no protection for the transaction.  

  1. Check Who Owns the Website

Our last tip is for you to check who owns the website. All domains are required to register their web address which means you are able to look this up and verify if the website is legitimate. There is a free website called WHO.IS where you can find out who owns the website, when it was created, and the contact details of the site owner.

Link for site: 

Free Whois Lookup – Whois IP Search & Whois Domain Lookup | Whois.com 

Once you have checked the website on WHO.IS, the red flags to look out for include how long the website has been active, especially if it is impersonating a famous business. Who the website is registered to and which country it is registered in.

5 Ways to Identify A Phishing Website Workplace Connect

If your business would like further support, contact us today: 

Contact (workplaceconnect.co.uk) 

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