Scrabble letters laid out on the table, spelling "SCAM" in the middle

Casey State Bank


Protecting Yourself from Phishing Attacks

Have you ever considered fishing from the fish’s point of view? They think everything is going swimmingly, and then bam! Out of nowhere, something they thought was safe turns out to be disastrous. That’s what phishing does to people. It’s one of the most common internet scams, and it affects thousands of people every day. Some estimates state that 156 million phishing emails are sent daily, with about 16 million of those making it past spam filters. 8 million are opened, and up to 80,000 people fall victim to these scams on a daily basis.

But you can outsmart these scammers. Let’s take a look at this scam and find out how to protect yourself from phishing attacks.

What Is Phishing?

In a phishing scam, hackers design websites or send emails that look legitimate with the intention of fraudulently acquiring information like usernames, passwords, and credit card details. Scammers will try to carry out these scams online, through email, text messages, the phone, or even regular mail– but most phishing attacks occur through electronic communication. Phishing impacts businesses and individuals, and scammers use similar tactics to get information and access to business and personal accounts.

The Development of Phishing

Phishing started out as an indiscriminate crime, where hackers attempted to get information in mass. But today’s phishers are much more sophisticated, and are much better at targeting their victims. This newer version is sometimes called spear phishing, where criminals go after specific targets using social engineering and personalized data. 

Unfortunately, this personalized approach tends to work. Experiments show a success rate of more than 70% for phishing attacks on social networks, like Facebook. In an experiment with spear phishing and West Point cadets, 80% of them revealed personal information. This shows that phishing can happen to anyone!

Another thing that’s important to realize is that scammers don’t just use one type of technology to attack your data. Sometimes it doesn’t matter if you don’t respond to the email. Cyber criminals can embed malware in links or attachments. Once on your computer, the malware lurks quietly until you navigate to your banking website, and instantly creates a popup telling you the site is having problems and to call a phone number. When you call that number, the friendly-but-phony associate on the line will happily take your information and use it to steal money. 

Protecting Yourself From Phishing Attacks: What To Know

Fortunately, there are ways to protect yourself from phishing attacks. First, you need to know about the kinds of emails these scammers use to attack you. It’s important to always remember that Casey State Bank, as well as any other financial institution, will never ask for your personal financial information by email. 

It’s also important to know what’s out there. You need to know what scammers are up to and to stay educated about the latest scams. If you know what a scam looks like, you’re less likely to be taken in by it.

Also, don’t take emails at face value. Look for clues that they might be illegitimate. Sometimes scammers will make subtle spelling changes; Amazom instead of Amazon, for example. Spelling and grammar errors are often signs that an email isn’t from a legitimate business. You should also never open an attachment that you aren’t expecting. And be careful when you click on links in an email. Before clicking a link, hover over it to see if it actually goes where the email says it will go. Be cautious and double check what you’re reading– wariness can be highly protective against phishing scams!

At Casey State Bank, we want you, your finances, and your personal information to be safe. That’s why we use multifactorial authorization for account access and constantly monitor potential threats. We also want to help you keep yourself informed with our SAFE security topics library, and we encourage you to use our security tools to keep your information protected.