Top signs of a phishing website

Phishing is not something unheard of these days. There are several forms of phishing and these can involve the use of technology across different genres. Websites, messages, email and even the calls have been used for the purpose. Want to know what are the signs of a phishing website? That should go a long way in helping you arrive at the best possible protection against them.

Phishing has been one of the commonly used forms of crime by the cybercriminals. It involves using a host of fraud mean to steal or get hold of your financial credentials that may include your online banking details, credit card information or even hacking into your emails to extract the information. However, if you are careful enough, there are several ways you should be able to detect a phishing attempt quite easily.

What is Phishing?

Well, phishing is an activity that cybercriminals use for extracting information about the target. The Attackers make use of deceptively designed emails and websites to achieve this goal. In fact, the scamsters somehow find a little information about them and then lead them to the site where they can lure them to part with their information, or more so use other software tools to extract the personal information.
no phishing
What makes them stay apart from the rest of the cyber attacks is they camouflage themselves as if they arrive from an official or genuine source. They design the websites and emails so deceptively that a gullible recipient or visitor is made to believe in their authenticity.
The technique was evolved as early as the 1990s and has been adding new ricks to the trade. The cyber attack format has been in use since quite long and has been considered to be the most pernicious kind of cyber crimes.

How to find and detect a Phishing website?

That is indeed a million dollar question. If you are aware a particular email or website is attempting phishing, you will stop accessing it, right? But, the scamsters have become smarter enough. They masquerade as a reliable and genuine source and trick you into believing them.

However, a few signs here should help you find if a site is really indulging in phishing. For the sake of this post, we will check out the signs of a phishing website and leave the emails to some other time.

Check out the URL of the site

Make sure that the website you are visiting is genuine and comes from the official source. A safe and secure site will need to begin with an https:// instead of an http://. There may be a few exceptions to this rule as the migration to the https regime is not yet complete.

The https certification ensures that the site has an SSL certificate that keeps the data secure on the site. If the site does not have an https certification, no data you share on it is encrypted. If you are expected to make a payment on a site, just make sure that it is secure. The SSL certification will ensure that the financial details you share on the site cannot be intercepted by cybercriminals.

Next, observe the spelling closely. Most of the phishing websites make their URL appear as much close as possible to the authentic website. Pay close attention that you may miss in a hurry and that should include the domain extensions as well. A few extra symbols and characters than that are needed are yet another sure sign of a phishing website.

Quality of the content

An official site will have its own smooth and polished interface. The information contained therein will be clearly explained in the proper grammar. Spelling and grammar is an important aspect you would need to look out for. The images on an official site will sharp in a good resolution.

In sharp contrast, a fake or phishing site will contain several substandard indications to prove their worth. A low-resolution image can be something you really need to worry about. Inconsistent grammar, broken language and images can be seen as one of the major indicators to a fake website.
Yet another important missing link would be the Contact us section. A phishing website will not have a contact section and even if it does, the information contained therein should definitely give them away.

Payment Options

The payment options shared on the website can be yet another sure sign of a phishing website. Genuine websites normally list credit and debit cards as a common payment option. They will also have a few genuine payment gateways. There will be an authentication involved for the payment.

A fraudulent website may have payment options that may be suspicious. If you smell some sort of unheard payment gateways, it can be an indication to prove that the site is fake and attempting phishing. One of the payment options that should ring a bell is bank transfer. Most of the official websites do not expect you to pay using bank transfer or cheques.

Check the Trust Seal

If you are using an anti-virus solution (well, most of us do) and have enabled the web surfing protection, you should find the trust seal that the antivirus solution provides for the website. If the particular website does not have the trust seal, it is high time to move away from the site even before you click on it.

Some websites do show the trust seal on their homepage. it may be a good practice to check the trust seal before you log in or share any sort of personal information on those sites. Ideally, we would expect the payment page to invariably have the trust seal to ensure that it is genuine.

In Conclusion

Those were a few simple ways you can assure yourself that you are not visiting a fake and phishing website. If you are in doubt, even if the site is genuine and official, it may be a good idea to get in touch with the company through social media or other sources so that you will come to know whether they are genuine.
And yes, whenever you come across a phishing site, make sure you report them to your ISP and search engines right away. That way, you will protect the unsuspecting visitors from being duped by the scamsters.


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