When internet users come across a website they believe to be trustworthy, they are likely to click on the link and visit the site’s landing page. It can be scary to think that people have so much access to your personal information.
Google Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer have all had issues with zero-click attacks, also called phishing attacks. The attacks are where scammers send users to an unsafe site that has been programmed to collect as much personal data as it can. Instead of clicking on the link to the site you want to visit, scammers will use the fact that users usually don’t think twice about simply clicking a link.
To protect yourself from being a victim of a zero-click attack, you need to be aware of how likely it is that you’re on a phishing site. Here are some of the most common red flags that you might be on a phishing site.
You’re Already a User
One of the most common ploys scammers use with zero-click phishing attacks is that they will send you to a website that asks for information you’ve already provided to that site. For example, you’re logged into your email account when you visit the phishing page, and you’re asked to log in to Facebook or your email again.
Another red flag for a phishing site is if the site asks for information about other people, or if it asks for credentials that don’t belong to you.
For example, a phishing site that asks you to create a new account for someone you know would not be legitimate.
But what if, instead of a friend, the site claimed to be a charity contest you signed up for a while ago? If you’re already a user of the service and you have been asked to create a new account, there is a chance that you’re on a phishing site.
The Site Says You’ve Won Something
When you visit a website, you expect to see the company logo and a simple design. Sometimes, criminals will place their logo at the top of the page, instead of the company logo. If a site claims you’ve won something and has images of what it looks like to “win,” this is a red flag.
Other red flags are sites that ask for your information before you can “claim” the prize, or sites that demand payment to “unlock” the prize.
There’s a Text Box You Can Fill In
If the site you visit asks you to type information, this is a big red flag. For example, if the site asks for your name, email address, or phone number.
Keep in mind that you can safely fill out forms on most websites, but if you’re on a phishing site, beware.
What’s worse, is that the scammers can capture your data, so that you’re forced to type information over and over again.
Other dangerous forms are surveys that ask questions about your medical or financial situation, or that ask for your banking information.
There Are Links to Other Pages
If you visit a website and see links to other pages on the site, this is a warning sign. You are supposed to go to the company’s landing page, not the pages the site has “linked” to.
Other red flags are sites that ask for your personal information, or that ask you to “sign up” for a newsletter, or another service.
This “linking” to other pages is another way scammers collect your information, and then send it to the people on the other pages.
The Site Looks Realistic
The most obvious sign of a phishing site is that the site looks real. If a site doesn’t look like the rest of the internet, then you should probably be suspicious.
Another sign that a site might be phishing is that the page doesn’t have a “google” or “yahoo” logo on it. Or, if the page is for a company that doesn’t usually have a website.
One of the best ways to see if a website is real or not is by using a website that tells you if a website is safe or not (see below).
Can Zero-Click attacks be prevented?
One way to protect yourself from phishing attacks is to use a website that tells you if the site you’re on is safe or not. Websites like this can tell you if the site is fake, and if the site is asking for your personal information.
These websites are called “anti-phishing” tools, and there are a number of them out there.
To find the one that you prefer, you can always use a “who is this website” test.
How does malware attack your computer?
There are many types of malware out there. One type of malware that many people don’t know about is “zero-click” malware.
When you visit a website that is infected with malware, it can trick your computer into clicking on the link and going to the site.
To protect yourself from this, you need to be careful about where you click. When you are on the internet, don’t just click anywhere.
Now that you know some of the most common signs of a phishing site, you can start to protect yourself.
When you notice one of the red flags, you should assume that you’re on a phishing site, and either log out of your account or type in your password.
You should also never, ever, enter your password for an email into a website that you don’t know is real.
If you follow these tips, you will be less likely to be a victim of a zero-click attack.