One of the many types of cyber crimes that are used by malicious threat actors is that of phishing. Phishing usually targets one or more individuals by email, telephone or text message pretending to be a legitimate institution and try to get people to give over sensitive information such as personally identifiable information, banking and credit card details, and passwords.
Divulging this information can result in accessing of ones important accounts and identity theft or financial loss taking place.
A California teen in 2004 had created an imitation website looking like that of America Online (AOL). As a result the very first lawsuit was filed against this teenager.
Through this illegitimate version of the AOL website, the teen was able to obtain extremely sensitive user information and respective access to victims’ credit card details to withdraw funds from their accounts.
Other than the typical email and website phishing, new types of phishing attacks are emerging such as vishing (voice phishing), smishing (SMS phishing) as well as other types of phishing attacks that cybercriminals are always inventing.
Common Features of Phishing email attempts
There are 5 warning signs to look out for when it comes to phishing emails:
- Too Good To Be True
Offers or attention-grabbing statements are designed to instantly get a person’s attention, for example that you have one an iPhone or another high-end prize. Do not click on any suspicious emails, and if it is too good to be true it probably is.
- Sense Of Urgency
A sense of urgency is a common tactic used by cybercriminals. they ask you to act fast as the deal is only available for a limited time or you have a few minutes to reply. When encountering these emails just ignore them. Other times they tell you that your account will be suspended unless you promptly update your personal details. Trustworthy organizations give sufficient time before accounts get terminated and never ask for personal information to be updated over the internet. When unsure about the legitimacy of a link visit the source directly instead of clicking on the link in an email.
Hyperlinks may not appear to be what they should be. Hovering over the link will show you the URL where you will be taken when you click on it. For example www.bankofamerica.com (correct site) could be misspelled www.bankofarnerica.com (incorrect site), so it is important to pay attention to the spelling of the URL.
If there is an attachment that you were not expecting or doesn’t make sense being attached to the email, do not open it. Often such attachments contain ransomware or other types of viruses. The only type of files that are always safe to click on are .txt files.
- Unusual Sender
Remember if something seems out of the ordinary, unexpected, out of character, or downright suspicious and it is from someone you know or even do not know do not click on it!
Here at EagleEyeT we offer a platform where we can help you to train your employees so they can identify as well as learn about the various types of phishing attacks. Contact us on [email protected] for a free consultation and a quote to begin training your employees.