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If you clicked, ask yourself why, this message is the most common form of cyber-attack, tempting you the user to click on a link. The least worrying may be asking for your name, worst could be downloading a file onto your computer to ‘ enter a draw’ and bang, there goes your computer, it’s now longer yours anymore
Every day millions of people click on bogus links in phishing emails — messages designed to steal your password, contact details or make you download malware.
One percent of emails sent today are phishing attempts. And it often represents a more serious threat than the nuisance offers for free money we’ve all seen in our inboxes.
Phishing as the name implies is a twist on fishing, people cast out emails to others on the home that somebody naive hits or bites on the link. This appealing message, free money, gift, help or funny picture is the door that you click on to expose you, your personal information, password or even computer to allow attackers to access to your account or computer
Gmail and other top email services catch the vast majority of these bogus messages, but you’ve probably seen an example, they tend to reside in the spam folder of most email accounts.
The Email provider’s information systems are smart, but we, us Humans are more devious in our approach.
Remember computer systems have to protect you 100% of the time and sometimes they slip up or we ‘attackers’ become more astute in our message and approach.
In some cases, the email and or message apparently comes from somebody you know, in your address book, they look legitimate.
These are targeted emails “spear-phishing” directly targeted at you and not a dear sir or madame approach. These emails can be the initial assault of something more sinister or larger cyber-attack on you or your organisation. Attackers use a carefully constructed email to fool someone into entering their login credentials into a fake page.
two Factor Authentication, 2FA
The best protection is to have a two device or factor authentication. You enter your password into an account and this triggers a message to your phone typically with a pin or code. When you have two-factor authentication enabled, even if an attacker successfully steals your password they won’t be able to access your account.
The second-best protection against phishing is the ability to recognise a spoof email or message content in the first place.
It’s not always as easy as it looks — attackers have become more sophisticated at making their phishing attempts seem legit.
Google have created a Phishing Quiz and see if you get spot all the fakes. It’s a fun way to learn about some of the most common phishing tricks.