What is Phishing? Types, Examples and Preventive Measures


Sending phony emails that appear to come from a reputable source is phishing. In most cases, this is done via email. The goal is to steal sensitive information, such as credit card and login information, or to infect the victim’s computer with malware. To protect yourself from phishing, you need to be familiar with this type of attack.

What is Phishing?

Fake communications that appear to come from an authentic source but which can infiltrate all types of data sources, are known as “phishing attacks.” Attackers have the ability to gain access to your online accounts and personal data, modify and compromise connected systems (such as point of sale terminals and order processing systems), and even hijack entire computer networks until a ransom is paid.

It’s not uncommon for cybercriminals to be content simply with stealing your credit card number and other personal information. It is also possible that phishing emails are sent to gather sensitive information about an organization’s employees, such as usernames and passwords, to launch more targeted attacks. Every employee in an organization should be educated on the dangers of phishing attacks so that they can guard their own email accounts and that of their coworkers.

How does Phishing Work?

Email scams are the most common form of phishing, and they’re often the first step in the scamming process. The sender’s identity is obscured so that the message appears to come from a well-known source. If the victim is deceived, he or she is compelled to divulge personal information on a fraudulent website. Malware can also be downloaded onto the victim’s computer from time to time.

The first step that cybercriminals take is to narrow their focus to a specific demographic. That’s where the scammers get creative. They create emails and texts that appear to be legit but actually contain dangerous links or attachments that trick their victims into taking an unknown, risky action. In a nutshell, here’s what you need

  • Senders of phishing emails frequently use strong emotions to entice their victims into opening attachments or clicking on links.
  • Companies and individuals can be fooled by phishing attacks, which are designed to appear legitimate.
  • Constant innovation and increased sophistication are hallmarks of today’s cybercriminals.
  • When it comes to phishing attacks, all it takes is one successful one to compromise your network and steal your data.

How to Increase Phishing Awareness?

All phishing attacks can’t be prevented by one piece of cybersecurity software. A tiered security approach can help your company reduce the number of phishing attacks and lessen the impact of attacks when they occur. As part of this multi-pronged strategy, employees receive awareness training. Employees are typically the last line of defense if an attack can get past your security measures.

Learn about phishing attacks, how to recognize them, and what to do if you think you’ve been the victim of a phishing attack. Take our Phishing Awareness Quiz to see how much you know about phishing.

How to Detect Phishing?

One of the best ways to identify a phishing attack is to examine hypertext links in any email client.

You can see the link’s URL in a pop-up window if you hover over it while checking for links. Check to make sure the email’s destination URL is exactly the same as the link in the email Be wary of links that include strange characters or abbreviations, as well.

By briefly hovering the mouse over the hyperlink on a mobile device, you can see the destination URL. This causes a small pop-up window to appear with the URL in it.

When hovering over the anchor text, the destination URL will be shown in the bottom-left corner of the browser window.

How to Prevent Phishing Attacks?

  • Check your online accounts on a regular basis.
  • Always keep your browser up to date.
  • Do not open email attachments from unknown senders.
  • Keep an eye out for pop-up windows.
  • Personal information should never be sent via email.
  • Be wary of social and emotional entanglements.
  • Keep track of the most recent phishing scams.

How to Process Phishing Emails?

If you receive a suspicious email, you should first do is not open it. Instead, report the email as phishing to your company or organization. Above all, you should never assume a coworker has already reported a phishing attack. The sooner your company’s IT and security teams are alerted to the potential threat, the sooner they can take steps to prevent it from causing damage to your network.

If you discover that you have unintentionally engaged in a phishing attack and have given out any internal information, you must immediately report the incident. You risk putting your data and your company at risk if you don’t report a phishing attack right away.

Types of Phishing Attacks

Spear Phishing

Spear phishing is a type of phishing that targets a single person rather than a large group of people. As a result, the attackers can personalize their communications and make them appear more genuine. Spear phishing is frequently used as the first step in breaching a company’s defenses and launching a targeted attack. According to the SANS Institute, successful spear phishing accounts for 95 percent of all attacks on enterprise networks.

Microsoft 365 Phishing

There are a number of ways that hackers can gain access to a Microsoft 365 email account. Phishing emails often pretend to be from Microsoft in these types of scams. Requesting the user log in, the email states that they need to reset their password, haven’t logged in recently, or that there is a problem with their account that requires their attention. In order to fix the problem, the user must click on a URL in the message.


Whaling occurs when attackers go after a “big fish,” such as a CEO. These attackers frequently spend a significant amount of time profiling the target in order to determine the best time and method for stealing login credentials. Whaling is especially dangerous because high-level executives have access to a lot of sensitive company data.

Social Media Phishing

Attackers frequently conduct detailed research on their victims on social media and other websites and then plan their attacks accordingly.

Voice Phishing

Vishing, or voice phishing, is a type of social engineering. It’s a phishing call aimed at obtaining sensitive information like login credentials. For example, the attacker could call posing as a customer service representative or a representative of your company. These types of scams are especially common among new employees, but they can happen to anyone and are becoming more common.

Leave a Reply