Cyber attacks have increased over the years, and everyone is a target, whether you’re an individual, a large corporation, or a government entity. The attackers usually have different goals, including ruining your reputation and stealing your data for ransom or black market sale.
One way they can attack you is through spoofing, which has allowed attackers to breach networks covertly. Once in your network, criminals collect personal information like passwords, banking details, and other credentials.
Here is what you need to know and how to protect Mac from spoofing.
What Is Spoofing?
Spoofing is a kind of cyber-attack where the attacker pretends to be your friend, bank, or employer. The criminals aim to make the attack look as legitimate as possible for targets to fall for it without suspecting anything.
In most cases, attackers use the names of trusted organizations and big businesses like PayPal, Amazon, Apple, and Walmart to fool you. They send you emails from fake addresses or links to fake websites. If you fall for them, you can unknowingly share information with criminals.
There are also sophisticated types of spoofing attacks that involve targeting your GPS, IP, and network. Hackers will likely use these on you if you’re a high-value target. But still, it’s always helpful to stay vigilant to avoid being a victim of any form of spoofing.
As technology grows, there’s also the increased risk of facial spoofing. Today, facial ID is becoming a thing in unlocking phones and authorizing transactions. As Deep Fake grows, criminals can explore ways to use it to hack through facial spoofing.
How to Protect Your Mac?
Whenever you’re using your computer, it’s vital to be careful to avoid becoming a victim of such attacks. Here is what you need to do to protect Mac from spoofing.
1. Use VPN
Use a Virtual Private Network to mask your IP and MAC addresses, especially when using public networks. Note that computers use IP packets to communicate. When browsing, your computer receives the packets to load information.
Without encryption, hackers can intercept the communication of your Mac to target you with spoofed websites. VPN encrypts your data by creating a secure tunnel for data transfer to prevent hackers from intercepting and changing the source IP address.
You can pick from free or paid VPN tools; you can also use browser extensions. Alternatively, you can configure VPN on your Mac’s System Settings once you get a VPN subscription.
2. Install Anti-Malware Software
It’s wise to have a real-time anti-malware program running on your Mac just to be safe, and remember to keep it up to date. You’ll likely click a spoofed or infected link at some point, and the program will help prevent potential infection and protect you.
Anti-malware programs work by stopping downloads and cleaning infected files on your Mac. You can opt for free or paid solutions. A paid solution is better since it can protect you from DNS attacks, whereby hackers hijack your DNS settings and direct you to spoofed websites.
3. Use Two-Factor Authentication
While strong passwords help secure your accounts, it’s advisable to use two-factor authentication (2FA) to reinforce the protection. 2FA makes it impossible for attackers to access your accounts, even if they manage to secure your password.
Today, hackers can easily get your passwords, especially when they hack other websites like social media and dating apps. If you use the same password for all online accounts, criminals can log into your accounts once they get the password, hence the importance of using 2FA.
When you implement 2FA, your online accounts will request a special code or permission to authorize access. The verification code is automatically sent to your phone as a text message, or you can use an app on your phone to confirm access. Without these two, it’s difficult for hackers to get into your account.
4. Avoid Clicking Unknown Links or Attachments
You must be careful whenever you receive new emails, especially those with a sense of urgency or importance. Before clicking any links or downloading attachments, verify the sender’s details, like email address, contact details, etc.
If you believe the email is from a legitimate sender, it’s wise to contact the sender using other channels to verify the contents of the email. This is particularly important if the email has an attachment or requests certain personal details.
In the event of clicking a link or downloading a file, you’re likely to install malicious software on your Mac. Hackers can use the software covertly to collect your information, including name, bank accounts, passwords, emails, card details, etc.
5. Never Share Personal Information Online
Most organizations won’t ask you to send important information via email. So, be wary when you receive an email requesting your bank account details, SSN, or home address. Note that criminals can still use call spoofing to get your data — you should always be careful.
Email spoofing is the most prevalent method, with hackers sending about 3.1 billion spoofed emails daily. Most of these emails contain links which direct you to a spoofed website to fill out a form. But also don’t overlook social media — attackers can target you anywhere online.
This is particularly important as social media becomes widespread. Criminals will target you on social media with fake job offers, gift cards, etc. So, avoid engaging with strangers online and don’t share anything you’ll regret, even if it is your full name, home address, pet name, etc.
Keep Your Mac Secure
Using the internet makes you a potential target for online scammers and attackers. Criminals will use different approaches to get to you and steal your data. They can use the data to create fake IDs, access your financials or sell it on the black market.
Spoofing can be challenging to spot, and hackers are getting smarter every day; even experienced users have been victims. So, it’s vital to be careful and confirm email addresses before engaging with anyone online or sharing any information.
Regardless, the best protection combines caution and Mac security tools. Avoid clicking links and downloading files that look suspicious. If you download software online, only use trusted sources. Also, avoid using free movie sites, which mostly feature infected links that can initiate file downloads.