What is Phishing?


In our last blog, we discussed the broad term hacking, which is using a computer system to gain unauthorized access into another computer or network.

Phishing, on the other hand, has a more specific meaning. The term is a play on the word fishing because cybercriminals are dangling a fake “lure” hoping system users will bite by giving out private information. That information can be anything such as credit card numbers, account numbers, passwords, user names and more. As with most online scams, the goal is to steal money.

The lure can be an email that looks legit or a website that looks trustworthy. When the phishing target takes the bait, cybercriminals can install malicious software on a computer or steal personal information from a computer. They might even call on the phone to offer to help solve computer issues or sell a software license.

So, why is phishing successful?

It starts with the scammers’ ability to trick victims who aren’t too technologically advanced. One of the main reasons for the success is the constant technical evolution of phishing tools. Mobile phishing has also become more and more prominent.

The best way to protect yourself from phishing is to use common sense.

If you receive a suspicious link, scroll over the link with your cursor to see if its destination matches the one provided. Or, manually type the website address. Also, never reply to an email that asks for personal financial information, no matter how official it may seem.

Phishing is also used for delivering malicious files. We've got some tips for spotting these attachments.

If you do end up being hooked in a phishing scam, take immediate action. Contact the bank or company used in the scam to tell them what happened and to close the compromised account.

Computer security requires constant vigilance. Don't let your guard down, or you could end up being a victim to a cybercrime.

If you are having any trouble call as at 866-793-8232.