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With cyber crime costing businesses all over the world billions every year, it’s more important than ever to stay clued up on some of the most common threats online and how to avoid falling victim to them. 

Phishing attacks are among the most effective tactics used by cyber criminals to compromise your data and information.  

In this blog, we’ll explain what phishing attacks are, discuss some of the different types of phishing, and provide valuable tips on how what businesses can do to ensure they remain protected. 

What are phishing attacks? 

Phishing attacks are a form of cyber attack which involves criminals attempting trick individuals into revealing information such as login credentials, bank details, or personal data. This is usually done through deceptive emails, websites, or messages that appear legitimate. These attacks often play on human psychology, exploiting people’s trust to manipulate them into giving up their sensitive information. 

Types of phishing attacks 

Email phishing 

Email phishing is the most common type of phishing attack. Attackers send seemingly legitimate emails with links or attachments that lead to fraudulent websites or infect the recipient’s device with malware. These emails may impersonate trusted sources, like banks or popular online services. 

Spear phishing 

Spear phishing is a targeted form of phishing, where attackers tailor their messages to specific individuals or organisations. They gather information about the victim to make the attack appear even more convincing. This type of phishing is often used for corporate espionage or data breaches. 

Pharming attacks 

Pharming attacks involve manipulating the domain name system (DNS) to redirect users to fake websites, even if they enter the correct web address. Victims may unknowingly provide their login credentials or personal information to these counterfeit sites. 

Vishing (voice phishing) 

Vishing is a type of phishing attack that occurs over the phone. Attackers impersonate trusted entities, such as banks or government agencies, and manipulate victims into revealing sensitive information over the phone.

How to avoid phishing attacks 

Stay informed 

Knowledge is the first line of defence! Businesses should train their employees to recognise phishing attempts and understand the risks. Regular awareness training can help them identify suspicious emails or messages. 

Verify the sender 

Before clicking on any links or downloading attachments, always double-check the sender’s email address. Be cautious if it seems unusual or contains spelling and grammar mistakes. 

Look for red flags 

Be wary of urgent or threatening language or unusual requests for sensitive information. Legitimate organisations do not typically request sensitive data via email. 

Use security software 

Employ advanced security software that can detect and block phishing attempts in real time. Keep your software up to date to ensure the latest threats are addressed. 

Report suspected phishing 

Encourage employees to report any suspected phishing attempts immediately. Even if you do fall victim to an attack, prompt action can help to minimise the damage. 

If you’re interested in learning more about how to boost your cyber security and how it can benefit your business, contact us today to speak with one of our experts.