A report from Kaspersky Lab reveals that in 2017 its software detected 246 million user attempts to visit phishing websites.

The largest portion of those websites – 53 percent – were financial related websites that attempted to glean a user’s bank account credentials.

Attacks against banks, payment systems and e-shops grew by 6.3 percentage points throughout 2017 says Kaspersky Lab.

The firm also notes that phishing attacks on social media platforms and search engines fell significantly indicating that cybercriminals have changed tack and are now going straight for a user’s financial information rather than attempt to get it through other means.

“The increased focus of cyber criminals to conduct financial phishing attacks means users need to remain extra vigilant. To get to grips with our money, fraudsters are constantly looking for new methods and techniques to catch us out,” says lead web content analyst at Kaspersky Lab, Nadezhda Demidova.

Increasing danger for Mac users

Kaspersky Lab has cautionary words for Mac users who believe their platform is 100 percent safe – it isn’t.

Phishing attacks aimed at gathering financial details were seen twice as often by Mac users in 2017 than in 2016.

The firm advises that users always check the legitimacy of a website. This can be done rather easily by checking the URL of the website. Another tip is to look out for HTTPS in the URL when logging on to a website.

A security solution that can detect potential phishing attacks can also help users.

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.