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  • Writer's pictureCharles Davidson

Phishing emails: A Growing Threat to Online Security

What is Phishing?

Phishing is a type of online scam that involves sending fake emails to trick people into revealing sensitive information such as passwords, credit card numbers, and other personal details. These emails are designed to look like legitimate messages from reputable organizations, but in reality, they are sent by cybercriminals with the intention of stealing sensitive data.

Phishing attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated and convincing, making it difficult for people to distinguish between a genuine email and a phishing scam. The threat posed by these emails is real, and it is essential to take steps to protect yourself and your online security.

How Phishing Emails Work

Phishing emails are designed to look like they come from a trusted source, such as your bank, a government agency, or a well-known company. They often include a sense of urgency and a request for personal information, such as a password or credit card number. The email may also contain a link or attachment that, when clicked, downloads malware onto your device or takes you to a fake website that looks like a legitimate site.


Once you have entered your personal information into the fake site, the cybercriminal behind the phishing scam has access to your sensitive data. They can use this information for identity theft, financial fraud, or other malicious activities.


Ways to Identify Phishing Emails


While phishing emails can be convincing, there are several ways to identify and avoid falling victim to these scams:

  1. Check the sender's email address: Make sure the sender's email address is genuine and not a close approximation of the real address.

  2. Look for spelling and grammar errors: Phishing emails often contain spelling and grammar errors, which can be a red flag that the email is not legitimate.

  3. Be wary of urgent requests: If an email contains a sense of urgency, such as a request to update your account information immediately, it may be a phishing scam.

  4. Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments: If you receive an email from an unknown source, it is best not to click on any links or download any attachments.

  5. Verify the request with the organization: If you are unsure about the legitimacy of an email, contact the organization directly to confirm the request before providing any personal information.

How to Protect Yourself from Phishing Emails


To protect yourself from phishing emails, it is essential to be aware of the threat and to follow best practices for online security. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe:

  1. Keep your software and security systems up to date: Make sure you have the latest versions of your operating system, web browser, and security software installed.

  2. Use strong passwords: Use unique and strong passwords for each of your online accounts, and change them regularly.

  3. Be cautious when providing personal information: Only provide personal information when you are sure it is safe to do so.

  4. Report phishing attempts: If you receive a phishing email, report it to the relevant authorities and delete it from your inbox.

Conclusion

Phishing emails are a growing threat to online security, and it is essential to be aware of the dangers and take steps to protect yourself. By following best practices for online security, you can reduce the risk of falling victim to a phishing scam and keep your personal information safe.


Need Help with Employee Phishing Awareness Training?


Phishing keeps getting more sophisticated all the time. Make sure your employee awareness training is up to date. Give TierTek a call today to schedule a training session to shore up your team’s defenses.

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