Pharming is a kind of internet fraud where attackers manipulate your web traffic and fool their targets into giving out vital personal information. Cybercriminals install malicious code on your server or computer, which automatically directs you to bogus websites without your consent or knowledge. When you are hacked, criminals can use your personal information to commit financial fraud and identity theft. Pharming is a sophisticated type of phishing attack that can impact anyone on any platform. Luckily, there are steps you can take to protect yourself against pharming. These include the following:
Ensure your Home Internet Has a Strong Password
This is important to protect your home network against local DNS poisoning, which is a type of pharming. It takes advantage of exploits in the software that controls DNS servers by hijacking the server and rerouting web traffic.
Use a Reliable Anti-Malware Program
Traditional forms of antivirus cannot protect against pharming. But, advanced anti-malware can actively block malware that tries to hack your computer’s hosts file. Also, it can block suspicious websites you might land on due to a poisoned DNS.
Pick a Trustworthy Internet Service Provider (ISP)
The majority of ISPs will automatically filter out the bogus redirects of pharmers, preventing you from reaching the pharming site. But, not all ISPs are the same, so make sure to confirm your chosen provider is as dedicated as more established providers might be.
Use a Different DNS Service
Although you can use a cybersecurity program for blocking malware-based pharming and malicious website from a poisoned DNS, you cannot prevent DNS poisoning from taking place. It is up to your DNS service provider to keep their servers secure. Your default DNS service is offered by your ISP. However, you can also check up other alternatives that claim to offer improved security and privacy over a conventional DNS.
Ensure URLs start with HTTPS
With websites that start with HTTPS, all traffic between you and the site is encrypted, so there is no way it can be intercepted by a third party. A website that has improved security level will automatically change its URL from HTTP to HTTPS, letting its visitors that their data is safe. Make sure to keep this tip in mind, especially if you are engaging in a financial transaction or exchange.
Avoid Files and Links from Unknown Sources
Think twice before you download files and click on any strange links. Pharmers will find it hard to get you if you don’t let them install their malware onto your computer.