October 14, 2016 Protect Yourself against Phishing

How to Protect Yourself against Phishing and Spamming Attacks

There are very many things you can do to protect yourself against phishing and spamming attacks. However, here is a list of some of the things you can do to protect yourself against spamming and phishing attacks effectively.

Protect Yourself against Phishing
Credit: geralt / Pixabay

A. Ignore all spam messages

This may sound like a trivial thing. However, it makes all the difference between staying safe and becoming a victim of a well-organised spamming or phishing attack. Ignoring spam messages is one of the most fundamental things you need to do to protect yourself against these attacks. However, many people fail to follow this principle in practice. Some people end up responding to spam messages out of curiosity. Responding to spam messages is among the most common mistakes that we make which cyber criminals try to exploit.

B. Keep your browser up to date

When your browser is up to date, you make it difficult for spammer and hackers to attack you successfully. In many cases, spammers and hackers take advantage of cyber security weaknesses in individual computers to launch their attacks. The malware that hackers use can easily infect a computer whose browser is not up to date. Therefore, ensure that your browser is up to date at all times.

Your browser company sends you security updates for the browser on occasions. Remember that the company that made your browser develops these updates as a response to genuine security threats. Therefore, if you delay to implement them, you increase chances of hackers successfully attacking your computer via your browser.

C. Avoid responding to fake messages asking you to unsubscribe from a service

Sending fake messages that ask people to unsubscribe from a specific service is a new way that hackers start their attacks. However, since it requires you to unsubscribe from a specific service, you may find it quite tempting. It is easy for people to click on links that ask them to unsubscribe from specific services than otherwise. People are likely to examine the truthfulness of any message that asks them to click a link to subscribe to something.

To protect yourself against spamming and phishing attacks, do not click on links from people you do not recognise. If you click on the links, you only help the spammers to identify active email addresses.

D. Use a good antivirus program

A good antivirus program will help to protect you against spamming and phishing attacks in several ways. First, many antivirus programs have inbuilt anti-malware capabilities. They can detect other types of malware apart from the common computer viruses, Trojans and worms. When you use such an antivirus program, you get protection against some of the most common malware programs that hackers use.

Second, a good antivirus program will continuously check your system and help to protect you against new threats. Hackers and spammers continually devise new methods to carry out their attacks. For example, criminals who run phishing attacks now target specific individuals within organisations. This form of phishing attack is called spear phishing. It is different from the other type of phishing called whaling in which cyber criminals target high-ranking individuals within organisations.

Therefore, when choosing an antivirus program for your device (choosing the best antivirus program), remember to check the other features of the program. Use programs that can protect you against other forms of malware such as spyware, adware and others.

E. Have several email addresses

For all phishing and hacking attacks to succeed, the cyber criminals behind them must use active email addresses. Therefore, spammers and hackers are continuously looking for new active email addresses.

You can protect yourself against spamming and phishing attacks when you use two email addresses. Keep one address completely private and use it to communicate with the people you know. You can then have another email address for public use. You can use the address to register on public websites.


If you keep these two types of email addresses, you will reduce the amount of spam and phishing messages that you receive. Spammers will only access your public email address. They may then flood it with spam messages. However, as long as you keep your private communication to your private email, you will not receive spam messages on the address.

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