You may have never met me before now, but I’ve been here in the background. My name is Casey, IT Associate for GenWealth, and I’m here to tell you about the nefarious cybersecurity threat known as PHISHING.
Phishing, by definition, is the fraudulent practice of sending emails acting as if from reputable companies in order to coax individuals into revealing personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers which could be used to steal one’s identity.
But what does it look like? Phishing attempts can often look like a real email from a trusted company or service, which is what makes it so effective. There could be an email that appears to come from Gmail asking one to reset their password. It could look like a message from a bank where clicking on the link installs malicious software on one’s computer. The success of phishing depends on how closely the attacking email resembles the reputable company’s correspondence.
Phishing often comes from senders containing suspicious URLs or attachments. One easy way to spot a phishing attempt is spelling and grammatical errors or generic greetings like “Gmail User” or “Greetings Sir or Madam.” Often times the email will ask for an urgent response, saying that one’s account might be closed without immediate intervention.
What can you do?
The name of the game in combating phishing is constant vigilance. Here are a couple key ways to combat a phishing attempt:
- Do not open emails from strangers.
- Microsoft, other IT services, and even GenWealth will NEVER email you asking for your personal information.
- Delete messages without clicking on URLs or opening attachments.
- Do not send personal information unless it is truly a trusted source.
The internet can be a wild place. If you have any questions or concerns, please give us a call at 501.653.7355. And be safe out there!