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Phishing, millions of Italians hit via SMS and WhatsApp

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Phishing, millions of Italians hit via SMS and WhatsApp

1 Italian out of 2 has received at least one phishing message in the past, while 7% of Italians receive at least one a day

A recent sondage commissioned by NordVPN, a company specializing in cybersecurity, showed that around 50% of Italians have been victims of phishing activities at least once in their lives, and 45% know at least one person who has suffered such an attack.

3 out of 4 Italians (72%) have been phished via email, 59% have received a phishing message on their phone, and 1 in 3 people have received a phishing message via messaging apps (such as WhatsApp, Messenger, etc. ).

Additionally, around 10% of people surveyed admitted to having fallen into at least one phishing trap in the past and suffered harm. Considering there are approx 51 million people use the internet in Italywe are talking about a total of around 7 million Italians involved.

“Nowadays, criminals go out of their way to make their phishing attacks credible by personalizing messages as much as possible. Furthermore, the use of AI makes it possible to automate the distribution of messages, thus increasing the number of people potentially involved,” he precised Adrianus Warmenhoven, NordVPN cybersecurity expert. “Also for this reason, it is very important that Italians learn to recognize phishing messages to avoid scams.”

How many Italians have been affected by phishing in the past?

1 in 4 Italians say they suffer at least one phishing attack a week, and 7% say they receive at least one phishing message a day.

Almost a tenth of our compatriots affected by a phishing attack (7%) say they have suffered a loss of money or their access credentials (username, password). Slightly fewer (6%) people say they have paid for a product or service without receiving it. 5% have suffered identity theft and 4% have lost access to their social media profiles, emails or had their online banking credentials hacked.

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What should Italians do to protect themselves from phishing attacks?

Use anti-spam filters. The best way to avoid phishing emails is to use preventative systems that prevent them from arriving in your inbox. This way, you can protect yourself from accidentally opening an email with potentially harmful links and attachments.
Use an attachment filter. Solutions like Threat Protection di NordVPN they are designed to protect users from phishing attempts. Threat Protection keeps you safe when you surf online and protects you from malware. Scans downloaded files and blocks harmful content before it reaches your device.
Learn to recognize them. With a little practice and experience, you can learn to recognize phishing emails. Even the smallest details can make the difference: if a person you know who always ends their emails with “Thank you”, suddenly greets you with “Sincerely”, it’s probably worth doing some extra checking and contacting them directly for clarification.
Keep software updated. Updating all software is essential to protect yourself from digital vulnerabilities and cyber attacks. Updates usually include new protection tools against more advanced threats.

“Maximum vigilance. Be critical and do not hesitate to verify the authenticity of any email or message”concluded Adrianus Warmenhoven. “If you receive an email from someone you know, think carefully before clicking on any links. Is it normal for this person to email you? If the answer is negative, try contacting her via phone, social media or other channels to confirm the reliability of the message.”

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