What is phishing?

What is phishing? What is phishing?

Have you ever noticed an email in your inbox claiming to be from somebody important, such as your bank? If this email invites you to click on a link, it’s very likely an example of phishing.

Phishing scams involve hackers posing as legitimate organisations so that they can convince users to give away their personal data. For example, an email from your “bank” may ask you to click on a link, which will take you to a fake website in which you might enter your personal data. This may lead to identity theft, or worse still, financial losses if hackers obtain your bank details.

These attacks most commonly happen over email, but can also use text messaging or even phone calls. Remember, your bank will never ask you to give out personal information over email. If you’re unsure about a message, look out for:

  • Emails asking you to download a file
  • Misspelled email addresses or company names
  • Suspicious links (hover over them – they will usually be very long and nonsensical)
  • Lack of personalisation, i.e. the sender does not address you by your name

Read more tips on how to protect yourself from phishing emails from IT Governance.