Don’t Get Reeled-In by a Phishing Attack
Over 75% of cyberattacks start with someone opening a malicious email. These emails are designed to extract data from the recipient, usually a password, which is used to gain further access to an organization’s network. Once an account takeover has been successful, hackers are able to mount more sophisticated attacks.
Phishing is the most common tactic employed by hackers, as it requires the least amount of effort and generally preys on the less cyber-aware. It's also the most common way for you to be exposed to ransomware. Phishing attacks can take many forms, but they all share a common goal – getting you to share sensitive information such as login credentials, credit card information, or bank account details.
Here are some different types of phishing attacks to watch out for:
- Phishing: In this type of attack, hackers impersonate a real company that you know to obtain your login credentials. You may receive an e-mail asking you to verify your account details with a link that takes you to an imposter login screen that delivers your information directly to the attackers.
- Spear Phishing: Spear phishing is a more sophisticated phishing attack that includes customized information that makes the attacker seem like a legitimate source. They may use your name and phone number and refer to known companies in the e-mail to trick you into thinking they have a connection to you, making you more likely to click a link or attachment that they provide.
- Shared Document Phishing: You may receive an e-mail that appears to come from file-sharing sites like Dropbox or Google Drive alerting you that a document has been shared with you. The link provided in these e-mails will take you to a fake login page that mimics the real login page and will steal your account credentials.
To avoid these phishing schemes, please observe the following email best practices:
Do not click on links or attachments from senders that you do not recognize. Be especially wary of .zip or other compressed or executable file types.
- Do not provide sensitive personal information, like usernames and passwords, over email.
- Watch for email senders that use suspicious or misleading domain names.
- Inspect URLs carefully to make sure they’re legitimate and not imposter sites.
- Do not try to open any shared document that you’re not expecting to receive.
- Be especially cautious when opening attachments or clicking links if you receive an email containing a warning banner indicating that it originated from an external source.
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