Discover free phishing protection
Scammers want to steal your ID and data. Stop them.
It’s so easy to click a link in an email that’s supposedly from your bank. Learn how to protect yourself from phishing scams and identity theft with Avira Free Antivirus.
Don’t take the bait!
Scammers deploy creative methods to appear legitimate.
“Update Your PayPal account"
"Your eBay user account has been suspended!"
Phishing emails are fraudulent emails that look as if they come from a reliable company or person you know, such as PayPal, your bank, or a friend. They might contain a form for you to complete or include a link to a counterfeit web page, which looks just like the real deal.
On the website, you’re enticed to enter personal information such as a credit card number, PIN number, bank account details, an email address, and password. The fraudsters can then use this data to steal your money or ID, and even commit crimes in your name!
“You’ve been infected”
“Your PC is about to shut down!”
You’re browsing the internet when a small alert or ad appears. That’s a pop-up. Malicious pop-ups can be intrusive and difficult to close. They often look like they come from a trusted source (even Avira!) and contain fake warnings and a phone number or link for “help”.
“Call our IT experts now”
“Premier IT support for less!”
Scammers use paid search ads for their fake support services. These paid listings appear at the top of the results page and look very convincing. Yet when you click the ad, malware may be downloaded that can compromise your security and give scammers access to your personal data.
Fake URLs are easy to spot if you look out for them. But criminals are smarter than that:
Social engineering: Think you can always spot the difference? Try this: http://www.volksbank.com is real and http://www.voIksbank.com is fake. The lower-case “l” has been replaced with an upper case “i”.
Browser vulnerabilities: The fake website may contain a script to exploit your browser. In this case, the real URL is displayed, but the content of the web page is fake.
Pop-up browser windows: The link in the phishing email points to the real website, but another browser window is displayed in front of it. Look out for a missing address bar – that’s often the sign of a fake “window” covering a legitimate website.
Follow these tips to stay safe
Repairing the damage caused by phishing can be frustrating, time-consuming, and expensive. Following a few basic safety rules is much easier:
- Do not click any links or download any attachments in suspicious emails. Instead, open your web browser and go to the website by entering it in the address bar.
- Alternate Internet Explorer with other browsers.
- Use antivirus and firewall solutions, and keep them up to date.
- Always use a secure website (HTTPS) and check the digital certificates.
- check your accounts and statements regularly, and report any suspicious activity immediately.
- Report suspicious emails to security companies and local authorities.
- Send suspicious messages to Avira at email@example.com.
Why choose phishing protection from Avira?
It’s part of our award-winning Avira Free Antivirus, so it’s technology you can truly trust for more than just phishing protection. Plus, it’s made in Germany and backed by our 30 years of expertise in securing your digital world.
BE FOOTLOOSE AND FANCY FREE:
Our real-time antivirus protection blocks viruses, trojans, worms, viruses, ransomware, malicious attachments… in fact all types of online threats, so you can live your digital life with complete freedom and confidence.
Our Avira Free Antivirus officially has the industry’s smallest footprint, so it doesn’t hog your system’s resources.
BE PART OF A GLOBAL ARMY:
Harness the power of collective intelligence! The Avira Protection Cloud is an ever-expanding virtual database of threat “fingerprints.” As soon as a new threat is detected, you—and all our customers—are immediately immunized against it.
Looking for just our anti-phishing protection? Here it is!
You’ll find it in Avira Browser Safety. This free, discreet browser extension is available for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. It blocks infected pop-ups, stops phishing websites and prevents browser hijackings. It also detects unwanted apps in your downloads.
Please note: After installing your Avira protection, Browser Safety will appear in the Avira Launcher, but it still needs to be installed and activated manually!Find out more and download Avira Browser Safety here.
Award-winning technology that helps protect millions of users.
Free phishing protection from Avira
Forget crowbars and lock picks. Today’s (cyber)criminals often need no more than a password to access your digital life and wreak havoc. Too many of us are unwittingly handing over these virtual keys. Welcome to the murky world of ‘phishing’, where thieves can lure you in with carefully baited online hooks. Yet what exactly is ‘phishing’, why has it become a firm a favorite among fraudsters and how can we help thwart their attacks?
‘Phishing’ uses deceit, including fake emails, websites, or pop-ups, to trick you into handing over key information, such as your date of birth, address, passwords, or banking details. Once it’s in the hands of cybercriminals, they can happily use this information to steal your identity, access your online accounts—and even apply for a credit card in your name! Don’t sponsor their online shopping sprees.
Sadly, phishing is on the rise, and like all cyberthreats, is becoming more sophisticated. It’s an eternal race between online security experts and cybercriminals. Who will be a step ahead? In 2020, phishing emails were a leading point of entry for ransomware and made up over half of all digital vulnerabilities. A lack of cybersecurity awareness among users is the reason behind the trend. We’re still unwitting accomplices in the threats against us. Plus, phishing requires no complex computer skills on behalf of the attacker. Imagine the job ad: Easy money! Keep your own hours. No hacking skills required! Phishing kits, including convincing copies of big-brand websites, can even be bought on the dark web. For tailor-made support, the discerning cybercriminal turns to phishing-as-a service, where sophisticated hackers build everything for you.
A trusted antivirus is an essential first line of defense (Note: Avira Free Antivirus comes with protection from phishing built in). While technology can mitigate the risk of phishing and help block spam and malware, some malicious emails will make their way into your inbox. Your last line of defense? You, and your ability to spot a fake. Be wary. Be savvy and read on for a healthy dose of both.
Are you the catch of the day for phishing attempts?
From ‘fishy’ WhatsApp and emails to websites and text messages, phishing has many disguises, and it can be difficult to spot the real deal. We’ve outlined common examples here:
1) The payment/warning: Probably the most popular template because it relies on fear and urgency. You’re pressured into opening an attachment or clicking on a link to submit a payment you don’t owe or to check unknown activity in your account.
Top tip: Check for any spelling/grammar issues, plus the full email address of the sender. Never be fooled by a logo! Does the domain name (the bit after the @ symbol) match the sender of the email? E.g.: a legitimate email from PayPal will end in @paypal.com. To compare, see the fake below. Savvier criminals will engage in highly targeted spear phishing. So that email from Lucy in HR, asking you to download the employee handbook, won’t really come from within your organisation.
2) The upgrade scam: You’re notified that your account has expired, and you need to take immediate action. It all looks good. There are no spelling errors, and the link seems to direct you to a safe ‘https’ page. To spot the scam, hover over the link and voila… it will reveal the true destination.
3) The Google docs worm: This nasty little app sends emails that appear to come from friends. You’re invited to view a document. When you click on the link (please don’t), you’ll end up on a fake Gmail login page where thieves are waiting to intercept your login details. You’ll also have given the app free rein in your own system, where it will merrily churn out phishing emails from your account.
4) Fake websites: Good ‘phishermen’ are crafty when it comes to creating fake URLs. Instead of FBI.gov, a spoof site might use FBI.com, or have a minor spelling error. Do your homework: Check to see who registered the domain name/URL on sites like Whois.net. COVID-19 vaccine scam sites are popular, asking for personal information and payouts. Be wary. Smart cybercriminals can also hack legitimate websites and include a fake login page or pop-up that directs you to a fake website.
Have you been ‘phished’? You’re in good company
If you’re still asking yourself “What kind of idiot gets phished?”, the answer is anyone, from your gullible granny to a tech-savvy millennial. And no-one is too big to fall. From 2013 to 2015, Facebook and Google were tricked out of over $100 million by paying a series of fake invoices. (In case you’re tempted to buy your own phishing kit right now, the thief, Evaldas Rimasauskas, was caught and imprisoned).
CEOs aren’t immune to hackers either. In a spectacular example of CEO fraud, a savvy phisher compromised the account of a high-level executive in a Belgian bank. Fraudulent emails were sent from his email account, instructing employees to transfer money to a bank account owned by the hacker. They did.
Trusted phishing protection and more, for free
By now you’ll have realized that staying immune from phishing involves a lot of tedious don’ts: Don’t click on links or open attachments without checking and double checking the sender and URL. Don’t trust a pop-up, your CEO, or even an email from your own mother. Thankfully, there are also many things you can and even must do!
Install reliable anti-malware like Avira Free Antivirus, or the premium, ad-free Avira Antivirus Pro. Both help block even the newest cyberthreats and Avira continuously updates its capabilities. Software never sleeps. In fact, devices with Avira protection act as ‘sensors’. When a new cyberthreat is identified, the Avira cloud is updated, and enhanced protection instantly rolled out to all customer devices.
No security is complete without a software updater. Don’t install one if you enjoy hunting for updates yourself or want to live life on the edge with outdated software that’s packed with loopholes for hackers to exploit. Brave, very brave.
For online security that’s more comprehensive and multi-layered, consider Avira Free Security, which is packed with online security, privacy, and performance-boosting tools. It’s free and available for various type of devices and operating systems. If you’re willing to pay a monthly subscription, the all-inclusive Avira Prime is for you. It’s packed with all Avira’s premium features.
If it’s just anti-phishing prowess you’re after, here it is: Avira’s phishing protection freeware is tucked into Avira Browser Safety, a discreet browser add-on.
Phishing is potentially lucrative and more popular than ever. Be the ‘one’ that got away.
Learn more about the following
A phishing site is usually a fake web page that looks just like a legitimate company’s web page. Its purpose is to trick visitors into entering confidential information, such as log in or credit card details, and to steal it. Typically, you get to a phishing site via links in phishing emails, text messages, or in search results. With the free Avira Browser Safety add-on you can tell right from the search results that a web page is malicious, helping you block infected and phishing sites before you even visit them.
A phishing email pretends to come from a trustworthy sender, such as an online store, payment service, or other well-known service provider, and usually contains an urgent request for action. In some cases, recipients of a phishing email are also lured with fake sweepstakes, alleged discounts, or other false promises of benefits. Phishing emails usually contain links that lead to harmful phishing sites or attachments that are infected with malware. Among its many tools, Avira Antivirus Pro includes a special email protection feature that allows you to check your emails for phishing links and malicious attachments.