Has anyone talked to you about Phishing lately? I am guessing that if you have been reading anything online or in a business article you have seen this mentioned at least once.

The real question is, do you know what Phishing really is and better yet do you know how to not fall victim to it?

Simply defined, Phishing is a cybercrime in which a target or targets are contacted by email, telephone or text message by someone posing as a legitimate institution to lure individuals into providing sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, banking and credit card details, and passwords. (http://www.phishing.org/what-is-phishing)

So, what is Phishing? The word “Phishing” comes from the analogy that Internet scammers are using email lures to “fish” for passwords and financial data from the sea of Internet users. The term was coined in the 1996 time frame by hackers who were stealing America On-Line accounts by scamming passwords from unsuspecting AOL users.

I admit, everyone is prone to fall victim to this type of attack, in fact it is in our nature to act quickly when approached with vitally important issues that we believe may affect us personally. This is where Phishing “hooks” the user they have targeted. This is why these scammers have used these following 11 top subject lines in their Phishing emails (there are many more, but these are regarded as the most popular).
1. Review or Quick Review
2. Bank of ; New Notification
3. Charity Donation for You
4. FYI
5. Action Required: Pay your seller account balance
6. Unauthorize login attempt
7. Your recent Chase payment notice to
8. Important: (1) NEW message from
9. AMAZON : Your Order no #812-4623 might ARRIVED
10. Wire Transfer
11. Assist Urgently

If you click on the links contained in these malicious emails you fall prey to these scammers and you can compromise your identity, your username/password, your network or computer security, and a slew of many other things.

The best word of advice for these is “Think before you click”. If you look closely at the email you will find tell tale signs that it is not legitimate, whether it be a link that does not go to the actual website that is supposedly contacting you or bad grammar/spelling.

Be careful out there in the Wild West that we call the Internet these days, there is always a bandit wanting your money. If you want to know more contact us and we can conduct training for you and your employees or just have a candid conversation about Phishing.

Sparrowhawk Technology – Keeping your Technology Safe. . .