The Basics of Phishing
Phishing is one of the biggest threats to our online security. Phishing is a type of social engineering attack that tries to trick you into disclosing sensitive information, such as login credentials or financial information, or install malware on your devices. Phishing attacks typically involve spoofed emails or websites that mimic a legitimate site in order to persuade the user into entering their personal information. In many cases, criminals use very realistic-looking emails or websites that are nearly identical to the real thing. Attackers may also use other methods, such as instant messaging or text messages, to carry out phishing attacks.
Common Tactics Used in a Phishing Attack
Cybercriminals will often send out phishing emails that appear to be from a legitimate source, such as a financial institution or well-known company. They often use authentic-looking logos and branding from legitimate companies. The email will typically contain a link that directs you to a fake website that is designed to look like the real thing.
Once on the fake website, you are asked to input sensitive information, such as your login credentials or credit card number. This information is then used by the cybercriminals to commit fraud or identity theft.
Cybercriminals may also use phishing emails to install malware on your devices. The email contains an attachment that, when opened, will download and install the malware. This can allow the cybercriminals to gain access to your device and steal sensitive information or commit other malicious activities.
Example of a Phishing Attack
You receive an email that looks like it’s from your bank. It says there’s been some suspicious activity on your account and asks you to click a link to confirm your identity. You do, and then enter your login credentials on the fake website that opens. Now the hacker who sent the email has your information and can access your account.