Spam: It’s just not in your emails anymore.

Phishing

Phishing is a cybercrime where attackers attempt to deceive individuals into revealing sensitive information by posing as legitimate institutions. They use various channels such as email, telephone, or text messages to trick people into providing personal data like credit card details, passwords, and other personally identifiable information. Here are some key points about phishing:

How It Works:

  • Cybercriminals create deceptive messages that appear to come from trusted sources.
  • These messages often contain lucrative offers, urgent requests, or attention-grabbing statements.
  • The goal is to lure recipients into clicking on links or opening attachments.
  • Once victims provide their sensitive data, it can be used for identity theft and financial fraud.

Common Features of Phishing Emails:

  • Too Good To Be True: Be cautious of emails promising extravagant prizes or deals that seem too good to be true. If it sounds too good, it probably is!
  • Sense of Urgency: Cybercriminals often create urgency, asking recipients to act quickly. Ignore such pressure tactics.
  • Hyperlinks: Hover over links to verify their actual destination. Some may lead to fake websites.
  • Attachments: Avoid opening unexpected attachments—they could contain malware.
  • Unusual Senders: Be wary of emails from unknown or suspicious sources.

Smishing (SMS phishing)

Smishing, derived from “SMS” and “phishing,” is a type of cybercrime that uses deceptive text messages to manipulate victims into divulging sensitive personal information such as bank account details, credit card numbers, and login credentials. Just like phishing emails, the goal of smishing is to trick individuals into revealing private information that can be used for identity theft, financial theft, or other fraudulent activities.

  • Method: Uses Short Message Service (SMS), commonly known as text messages.
  • Scammer Impersonation: The scammer poses as a legitimate institution (e.g., a bank or service provider) in the text message.
  • Goal: Trick recipients into revealing personal data or downloading harmful content.

Given the prevalence of text messaging as a form of communication, smishing has become a significant concern in cybersecurity. Staying informed and vigilant helps fortify against this evolving cyber threat and safeguards your personal and financial well-being1.

Vishing (voice phishing)

Vishing, short for voice phishing, refers to fraudulent phone calls or voice messages designed to trick victims into providing sensitive information, like login credentials, credit card numbers, or bank details. These details can then be exploited for criminal activities such as fraud, identity theft, or financial theft. Unlike traditional phishing, which primarily relies on email, vishing uses voice communication – typically calls to a user’s cell phone number.

Here are some key points about vishing:

How It Works:

  • Vishers (voice phishers) use deceptive phone numbers, voice-altering software, text messages, and social engineering.
  • They aim to trick users into divulging sensitive information.
  • Vishing often involves automated voice messages or direct calls.

Remember to stay vigilant, verify sources, and protect yourself from phishing attacks. If in doubt, visit the source directly rather than clicking on links in emails.