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Through our blogs, you’ve read about many attacks – viruses, malware, ransomware. When it comes to email phishing, this is yet another cyber attack you’ll want to take note of because it’s quite common, especially during the holiday season.
Defining Email Phishing
Email phishing consists of fraudulent emails that pose as real sources (such as a store you frequent). These emails will usually consist of a link that will send you to a fake website or will direct you to give sensitive information, like login or credit card information. That information is used to commit identity theft.
Examples of Phishing Emails
Photo Credit: Infosec Institute
As the above example points out, there are three major issues with this email:
Photo Credit: MIT
If you receive an email claiming to be from the IRS, DO NOT ACT. The IRS clearly states that it will not initiate contact with taxpayers by email.
Other red flags within this email, like the Amazon example, include a generic greeting. And of course, after hovering over that link, it will most likely display a link not directing to an IRS site. Also, note that there is unusual spacing in the tax refund amount.
Categories of Email Phishing
This is where the examples above would fall. These are the most common attacks. They’re very generic and are spread to many people.
This is a targeted method that goes after particular individuals or groups. It uses as much personal information as possible within the email to make the attack more believable.
This is another targeted method that specifically attacks major entities, such as CEOs and executives, to gain sensitive company and personal information.
What to Do If You Experience Email Phishing
Though these methods of attacks are very common and quite sneaky, it’s not the end of the world. Especially if you don’t act on them.
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