With all the computer threats out there, and hacking at an all-time high, individuals and companies alike are taking extra precautions to protect their computers, networks and private information. Still the number of phishing attacks continues climbing, because users continue to fall for the same old tricks. The number of people that still today ask me “what is phishing?” is absolutely astonishing.
What is Phishing?
Phishing is when individuals target unwitting victims in their homes and workplaces to acquire personal information, such as usernames, security codes and passwords or banking and credit card information, by sending emails, texts, instant messages that appear at first glance to be from an official source. When the victim clicks on a link or replies to an email, they are taken to a website that looks like the official site. The fraudster may install malware onto the user’s device, or lead the user to their fake website. When the unsuspecting user enters information into that website, the system steals their information.
So with all the information warning people about phishing, why are they still falling for it? Gone are the days when fake emails contained spelling and coding errors. Hackers are getting better at what they do. They use logos and images taken from official websites, create ads on Facebook and Twitter, and build campaigns around the news, holidays and special events. Users can’t tell the official site from the fake site anymore, they are so good.
Social media makes it even easier for fraudsters to steal information. Think about it – people give out all kinds of personal information on Facebook and Twitter. This includes their names, employer, photos of their homes, and even the names of their pets and children.
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