Report Reveals PayPal is a Top Phishing Target | How to Stay Safe at PayPal Casinos
A new report published by Area 1 Security, a cyber-security firm, shows that PayPal is the number one target for phishing attacks.
The report examined phishing attacks, which took place between May 2018 and February 2019 and found that PayPal users were consistently at risk of being scammed.
But what exactly is phishing and how can you keep your PayPal account secure? Read on to learn all about how you can assure your funds are safe when playing at PayPal casinos.
The Report – Key Findings
As we’ve just mentioned, the report examined a series of phishing attacks that happened in the past 10 months. It found that PayPal was the largest target, yet other well-known brands were also at risk.
Here are some of the report’s key findings:
- 89% of all phishing incidents affected 64 international brands, including PayPal, Amazon, Facebook and eBay.
- After PayPal, the second largest target for phishing attacks is the Bak of America, followed by Apple and Microsoft in third and fourth place.
- Google, Dropbox and Facebook all also made the list of the top 16 most targeted international brands.
- Compared to last year’s report (2017-18), there are 29 more brands that are now spoofed by hackers.
All of these findings not only prove that phishing attacks are rife, but that this kind of scam is constantly evolving. As different brands grow in popularity, hackers know which users to target. As such, no matter what you use these services for, you should be cautiously doing so at all times.
What Is Phishing?
Phishing is a tactic which online scammers and hackers use to trick people into giving away their own sensitive information.
Essentially, phishing attacks pretend to be the brand you trust and will send you an official looking email message. From there, the email may contain a virus or, alternatively, it may as you to enter your login details or share your password with the email sender.
Phishing is one of the oldest types of cyber attacks, dating back to the 90s, yet it’s remained a popular way of deceiving unsuspecting users.
Types of Phishing
As noted above, phishing attacks usually attempt to get the victim to do one of two things:
- To supply sensitive information – These types of phishing emails aim to dupe the user into revealing important details, such as their username and password. In these cases, victims are sent an email which has been designed to look like a message from the real brand, which includes a link. The victim then clicks on the link and is taken to a fake webpage, also designed to look like the real brand’s webpage, and will enter their username and password. The scammer now has access to their account.
- To download viruses – With this type of phishing email, the sender hopes that you will download an attached file or document. This attachment will contain a virus, such as adware or keylogger software. Keylogger software tracks the keystrokes you make on your computer or mobile and therefore can record your PIN codes, passwords and other confidential information.
How to Spot a Phishing Email
There are several defining features of phishing emails which are easy to spot. Knowing what to look for can keep you safe, so it’s important you familiarise yourself with give-away indicators.
- Unofficial Senders
Phishing emails may appear in your email inbox with the same name as the respected brand you use. This is a flaw of smart-inboxes, which identify contacts’ names instead of showing you the real email address first thing. To find this, you’ll need to open up the email and click ‘details’ below the sender’s name. Here you may see that the email address is very different to what you would expect (usually contains a long string of letters and digits), or it may look just a little off (for example, if you’re trying to spot a fake PayPal email, it may be sent from [email protected], instead of [email protected]
- Typos and Grammar Errors
Big name brands will rarely send you emails littered with spelling mistakes. As such, this is one of the best ways to spot a phishing email. In addition, the emails may be awkwardly worded or formatted badly.
- Unofficial URLs
If the email contains a link, it’s always wise to check whether or not this link is official before clicking it. You can do this by hovering over the link. If the email is a phishing attack, it will probably contain a misspelt word or a slight alteration, e.g www.paypol.com or www.paypaluk.com
Essentially, if an email seems dodgy, it probably is. You can also contact the official brand’s customer service team to verify that an email was sent to you. This can also help to prevent further phishing attempts in the future.
How to Stay Safe at PayPal Casinos
Many online casino players use PayPal to make deposits, as they believe it is safer than supplying their banking details directly to the casino.
Rest assured that, even with these new findings, PayPal is still a very secure service. You just need to exercise some caution when using it.
Here are some ways in which you can make sure your PayPal account is secure:
- Never Share your PayPal Login Details with Anyone – Your PayPal login details are as valuable as your bank card PIN code and you should never share them with anyone.
- Always Log Out of PayPal if Using a Shared Device – If you are making PayPal deposits from a shared or public device, you need to remember to log out of both the casino and your PayPal account once you’re finished.
- Create a Strong Password – Although remembering a long-winded password can be annoying, it really helps to keep your account secure. The optimal password would be longer than 8 characters and contain a mixture of capital and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.
- Ensure You Are Running Antivirus Software – Before you go online, you should always ensure that you are running reputable antivirus software. This should be the case whether your playing at a casino, checking your emails or simply reading the news. What’s more, you need to make sure your antivirus software is always up-to-date.