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What is Phishing and how can cyber insurance cover you against it?

By Finserv MARKETS - Aug 28,2019
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Cyber Insurance for cyber phishing

Archana, a dentist by profession, received an email from the income tax department stating that said she was eligible to receive a tax refund. For this, she was asked to submit an online request by clicking on a link. She was supposed to input personal and confidential information like her name, address, mobile number, and credit card details in the request. Even as a seasoned internet user who had read plenty of cautionary cyber crime stories, she keyed in her credit card details in the request form. Eventually, she lost Rs. 75, 000 to cyber criminals before she could freeze her card. Being aware of certain basic steps to shield herself from cyber-attacks, she too fell for the most common scams online -phishing.

What is Phishing?

Phishing is the process of scamming to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and, debit and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Phishing is typically carried out by email or instant messaging and it often directs users to enter details at a fake website whose look and feel is almost identical to the legitimate one.

As per the RSA Quarterly Fraud Report for the first quarter of 2018, phishing accounted for 48 percent of all cyber-attacks globally. For the same period in 2018, phishing accounted for 26 percent of total cyber fraud attacks in India. The report also indicates that India rose from the tenth spot for the same quarter in 2017 to the third spot in 2018, in the list of top ten targeted countries for phishing attacks.

Warning Signs to Identify a Phishing Attack

Cyber scammers may be professionals at what they do, but when observed carefully, their job is not foolproof either. Here are a few warning signs to identify a phishing attack:

  • Authentic Companies don’t request for your confidential information: You receive an email, text or phone call claiming to be from a bank, telecommunications provider or other business you regularly deal with, asking you to update or verify your details.
  • Authentic Companies usually call you by your name and know how to spell: The phishing email or text message does not address you by your proper name but by generic salutations like ‘Dear Account holder’, and may contain typing errors and grammatical mistakes.
  • Genuine Companies have domain emails and don’t force you to their website: The website address does not look like the address you usually use and is requesting details the legitimate site does not normally ask for, by forcing you to their website.
  • Genuine Companies don’t send unsolicited attachments: Phishing usually involves a request for direct download of a file attachment and when you click on it, you notice new icons on your computer screen, or your computer is not as fast as it normally is.

Pointers to Protect Yourself from Phishing Attacks

Owing to the rise in cyber fraud activities that include an increasingly huge number of phishing attacks, it is imperative that you prepare to protect yourself from falling victim to the nefarious acts of cyber criminals. Here are a few pointers that can aid you to prevent phishing attacks:

  • Be alert to the fact that scams exist and know who you are dealing with. A simple Google search can establish the authenticity of the contact in question.
  • Keep your personal details secure like putting a lock on your mailbox, and storing your passwords and pin numbers in a safe place. Also, be very careful about how much of your personal information can be shared on social networking sites that are potential places to forge your fake identity.
  • Do not open suspicious texts, pop-up windows or click on the links or attachments in the email-delete them.
  • Beware of any requests for your confidential details or money, and be wary of the merchant sites while shopping online. It is safe to shop from regular websites known to you. Contact the concerned financial entity immediately in case of any suspicious transactions from your account or credit card.

Inspite of numerous pointers and measures to safeguard yourself against phishing, it is prudent to opt for a cyber insurance policy that can give you a safety net in the event that you fall for a phishing attack. Bajaj Allianz General Insurance has introduced the Cyber Safe Insurance Plan, a one-of-a-kind Cyber liability cover, available for purchase on Finserv MARKETS. The plan ensures that you avail optimum protection against cyber threats and risks like malware attack, cyber extortion, phishing, identity theft, etc. The Bajaj Allianz Individual Cyber Safe Insurance plan covers your financial losses incurred by an innocent victim of phishing by a third party, and prosecution costs against a third party for phishing attack. It is better late than never to buy a cyber insurance cover that can absorb the cyber shocks on your behalf.

Also read common exclusions of cyber risk insurance

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