How to Purify Your Device After Clicking a Phishing Link
Many people thought, “what if I clicked on a phishing link on my android phone?”
The fact that people fall into phishing scams is perhaps the most significant reason why such tactics are still actively used by cyber criminals.
Every day, attackers send out hundreds of thousands of emails, and if they can steal the registration data of at least one person, then it is still considered a victory. It doesn’t take them long to launch a possible phishing email campaign and then distribute it to potential victims by simply clicking one button in the hope that someone will definitely fall into their trap.
You can read more about phishing here.
Unfortunately, it is not difficult to get at least one such person among hundreds of thousands of people, so scammers always have a job, even if they rely only on luck. And very often this one victim does not even realize that she is being deceived by hackers, probably located on the other side of the world.
But how to purify your device after clicking a phishing link? Let’s consider together.
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Why do people fall for phishing scams at all?
People are distracted by all the digital noise they deal with every day. You may receive an email from someone pretending to be a representative of your bank, asking you to confirm your registration details so that you do not lose access to your online banking profile.
You may be a teenager who is offered a “blue confirmation badge” on such popular social media platforms as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok. Or you may receive a regular email supposedly from your mail server asking you to confirm/change your credentials for the mailbox.
Whatever the reason, most emails contain an element of urgency, which often forces even tech-savvy people to fill out a proposed form that will eventually help cyber criminals obtain registration data to connect.
If you eventually provided your registration details, and then realized that you had just shared them with complete strangers, this does not necessarily mean that the end of the world has come for you.
However, this does suggest that you may want to be a little more careful in the future, and therefore you should immediately change your password, since it has just been compromised.
Remember that you will probably benefit from having proper antivirus protection on your connected devices, as high-quality antivirus solutions should have filtered out such emails even before they reach your mailbox.
Top internet scams around the world.
What happens if you won’t do anything with phishing scams?
You might think that cyber criminals won’t be able to do much damage with a stolen password to your TikTok account, but you’re probably wrong:
- they can use it to commit identity theft;
- they can use your social media profile to spread malicious messages or fake news;
- they can even change your password so that you lose access to your own account.
It is quite possible that you have used similar registration data in other important services, for example, when connecting to an online bank or government web services.
It turns out that hackers will also receive these registration data, trying to use them as intensively as possible in order to use them, possibly, to reveal even more personal information that they can use for malicious purposes.
Imagine that hackers suddenly gained access to your mobile device and can see your personal information, such as scanned documents, messages, images, videos, etc. That would be a disaster! But you can always be ready for such scams.
More email scams are here.
What should you do after clicking on phishing link?
- Pass the information to the administration of the original site
Find the original site, a copy of which is a phishing site, and write to the specified contacts (most likely, there are words support or info in the email address.) Attach screenshots, a link with a warning that this is a scam site.
- Contact payment providers
On a phishing site, you may be asked for bank card details to make a purchase. Pay attention to which payment provider is specified, take a screenshot, contact the support service of the payment provider (for example, PayOnline, Fondy.)
- Inform the search engine
You can inform Google and Bing search engines that you have found a phishing site. To do this, you need to fill out special forms. This is done quickly, and you will help others not to fall for the bait of scammers.
- Change passwords
Change the passwords that you managed to transfer. In the case of entering bank card data, call the bank and report the problem. The best solution would be to block the compromised card and issue a new one.
Why does cybersecurity important? Read more here.
How to purify your device after clicking a phishing link
If you did follow a phishing link and are now thinking about how to clean your phone, then here are some tips for you.
1. Carry out the destruction
The first thing to do is disconnect your device from the internet connection. Pull out the Ethernet cable, turn off Wi-Fi or mobile internet to stop internet access. This is a vital step because most malware or viruses rely on the network to keep in touch with the mother base and send back stolen data or infect other parts of your device.
Note: Some will help you stay on the device and, after removal, be active as long as there is a connection to the Internet connection.
After you isolate the threat, you need to take care of backing up all important documents. To do this, start the system in safe mode, download your antivirus software and perform a deep scan. Delete anything that he deems dangerous, and then also run an antivirus program, just in case.
2. Protect your data
It is worth following the antivirus program while it checks the device, as some programs provide a form of description or explanation of what each virus does. For example, if it states that a malicious program on your computer is designed to steal registration data, then your first action should be to change your credentials.
Thus, you will need to change passwords to more complex ones. It will be better if you write down the new passwords on a separate sheet and will not store it in the online space.
Read our guide on the strongest password creation here.
3. Don’t keep it a secret
If a phishing attack was aimed at your personal device, then do not hesitate to ask for help from IT specialists. They know better than anyone what concrete steps should be taken in each individual case.
If the attack was carried out on an office device, you should first tell the management about it, since it is possible that this is a planned attack on the company. And the faster you tell about it, the more chances you have to save all the data inside the company.
Read our checklist of necessary security measures on the internet here.