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What is Phishing?

Phishing is a type of online scam where fraudsters create fake emails, messages, or websites that appear legitimate to trick people into revealing sensitive information like passwords, credit card numbers, or personal details. These deceptive communications often mimic reputable organizations such as banks, social media platforms, or government agencies. Phishing attempts typically urge recipients to click on links, download attachments, or provide confidential information under false pretenses.

Types of Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks manifest in various forms, each aiming to deceive individuals and organizations through deceptive methods. Common types include:

  • Email Phishing: Fraudulent emails impersonate legitimate entities to trick recipients into divulging sensitive information or clicking on malicious links.
  • Spear Phishing: Targeted emails customized for specific individuals or organizations, often utilizing personal details to appear genuine.
  • Vishing: Phishing conducted through voice calls, where attackers pose as trusted entities to extract sensitive information over the phone.
  • Smishing: Phishing via SMS or text messages, deceiving recipients into clicking on harmful links or providing personal information.
  • Pharming: Redirecting users to fraudulent websites by manipulating DNS settings or exploiting web browser vulnerabilities.
  • Clone Phishing: Manipulating legitimate emails by creating exact copies with modified links or attachments to steal information.

Phishing Email

A phishing email is a deceptive message sent by cybercriminals pretending to be trustworthy sources like banks, government agencies, or well-known companies. Their goal is to deceive people into sharing personal info, clicking on dangerous links, or downloading harmful files. These emails often use urgency, fear, or curiosity to make you act quickly. They can look very convincing, with logos and wording that seem real.

Spear Phishing

Spear phishing is a more personalized type of cyber attack. In a spear phishing attack, the cybercriminals do their homework by gathering information about specific individuals or organizations. They then use this information to create emails or messages that seem genuine and trustworthy. These messages often include familiar names, email addresses, or other details to trick people into sharing sensitive information, clicking on harmful links, or downloading malicious files. The goal is to exploit trust to bypass normal security defenses.

How to Prevent Phishing Attacks

Preventing phishing attacks involves several key strategies:

  • Stay Informed: Learn to recognize common signs of phishing, like suspicious links or requests for personal information.
  • Verify Emails: Double-check the sender's email address and contact them directly if you're unsure about a request.
  • Be Cautious with Links: Avoid clicking on links in emails from unknown sources or that seem unusual.
  • Use Security Tools: Install reliable antivirus software and email filters to detect and block phishing attempts.
  • Enable Two-Factor Authentication: Add an extra layer of security to your accounts with 2FA.
  • Keep Software Updated: Regularly update your devices and software to protect against vulnerabilities.
  • Report Suspicious Activity: Report phishing emails to your IT team and change passwords if you've interacted with a suspicious email.
By staying alert and taking these precautions, you can reduce the risk of falling victim to phishing scams.

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  • Antivirus, malware, ransomware, & spyware protection
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  • Secures PC, Mac, and Mobile devices
  • Protects webmail from scams and phishing attacks
  • Secures online banking and shopping
  • Keeps children safe online
  • Secures privacy on social media
  • Pauses notifications during gaming
  • Protects and manages passwords

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you know if you are phished?

You might be a victim of phishing if you notice the following signs:

  • Unexpected Requests: You receive unexpected emails, text messages, or calls asking for personal information, passwords, or payment details.
  • Urgency or Fear: Messages create a sense of urgency, fear of consequences (like account closure), or promises of rewards to prompt immediate action.
  • Suspicious Links: Emails contain links that seem odd or lead to unfamiliar websites. Hover over links (without clicking) to check their destination.
  • Spelling and Grammar Mistakes: Phishing emails often contain spelling or grammatical errors that legitimate organizations typically avoid.
  • Unusual Attachments: Be cautious of unexpected attachments, especially from unknown senders, as they could contain malware.
  • Mismatched URLs: Check the URL of the website you're directed to—it may look similar to a legitimate site but could have slight variations.
  • Requests for Sensitive Information: Be wary of requests for passwords, Social Security numbers, credit card details, or other personal information.

If you suspect you've been phished, avoid interacting further with the message or links, report it to your IT or security team, and monitor your accounts for any unauthorized activity.

How Trend Micro security softwares can protect us from phishing attacks?

Trend Micro security software offers robust protection against phishing attacks through multiple layers of defense. It employs advanced email scanning capabilities to detect and block phishing emails containing suspicious links or attachments that may lead to malicious websites or malware downloads. Trend Micro's anti-phishing technology uses advanced analysis to spot and stop phishing attempts by checking email content, URLs, and how websites behave.URL filtering further enhances security by ng sites, automatically blocking access to flagged sites and alerting users to potential risks. With these proactive measures and continuous updates, Trend Micro security software helps users maintain a secure online environment and mitigate the risks posed by phishing attacks effectively.

How to report phishing scams in Malaysia?

Reporting phishing scams in Malaysia typically involves contacting the relevant authorities who handle cybercrime and consumer protection. Here’s how you can report phishing scams in Malaysia:

CyberSecurity Malaysia: This is the national cybersecurity specialist agency under the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia. They handle various cyber threats, including phishing.

  • Website: Visit CyberSecurity Malaysia for more information and reporting options.
  • Email: You can email them at cyber999@cybersecurity.my for assistance.

Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC): MCMC regulates the communications and multimedia industry in Malaysia. They also handle complaints related to cybercrime.

  • Website: Visit MCMC’s website for information on how to report cybercrimes.
  • Hotline: You can contact MCMC’s hotline at 1-800-888-030 for immediate assistance.

Bank Negara Malaysia: If the phishing scam is related to financial institutions or involves banking fraud, you can report it to Bank Negara Malaysia, the central bank of Malaysia.

  • Website: Visit Bank Negara Malaysia’s website for more information on how to report financial frauds.
  • Hotline: You can contact Bank Negara Malaysia’s Consumer and Market Conduct Department at 1-300-88-5465 or email bnmtelelink@bnm.gov.my.

Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM): For serious cases or if you are unsure where to report, you can contact the Royal Malaysia Police.

What if you are a victim of bank phishing email?

If you've fallen victim to a bank phishing email in Malaysia, follow these simple steps:

  • Contact Your Bank Immediately: Inform your bank about the phishing scam as soon as possible. Use the official customer service number from the bank's website or statements to ensure you're contacting the legitimate bank.
  • Freeze Your Accounts: If you suspect unauthorized transactions or access to your accounts, request your bank to freeze your accounts temporarily to prevent further losses.
  • Report to Police/Authorities: File a police report or report to the relevant authorities. You can do this online through their website or by visiting a police station in person.
  • Monitor Your Accounts: Regularly monitor your bank accounts and credit statements for any suspicious transactions. Report any unauthorized activities to your bank immediately.
  • Educate Yourself: Learn from the experience and educate yourself on how to identify phishing scams in the future. Stay vigilant and cautious with your personal and financial information online.

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