What Is Phishing?

Living in the digital age has its perks. What once required hours of potential travel and coordination can now be achieved quickly, thanks to the internet.

But with the positives also come the negatives. The digital world has opened up many doors of opportunity for cybercriminals. Just as you have to be careful and watch your possessions while out and about, you must be vigilant about your safety online as well.

So a question on your mind may be: what is phishing? know phishing vs spear phishing in details.

Here we explain precisely what phishing along with spear phishing examples, so you can be aware of your digital surroundings and browse in safety with phishing prevention best practices.

How do people phish?

Phishing is different from conventional hacking because there’s little to no explicit effort to break into cyber defenses. Instead, on the cybercriminal’s part, phishing relies mainly on masquerading and using social engineering.

MORE : How Can You Identify a Phishing Email

What is social engineering?

Social engineering is where the victims are duped into handing over their sensitive information of their own accord. It sounds like it should be easy to avoid falling victim to this, but in reality, it’s not.

You see, cybercriminals are smart. They know how to psychologically manipulate you into trusting them by either creating a believable scenario or posing as a person or company you’re familiar with. With a proper phishing prevention solution you can protect your business.

For example, they can closely recreate Netflix’s email address and website. Then, they send you an email requesting that you change or confirm your username and password. When you click on the malicious link, it’ll take you to a fake website, where you’ll type in your credentials. As a result, that information then falls into the scammer’s hands.


MORE : How to Protect Against Phishing

What are the types of phishing?

There are five main types of phishing. They are:


  • Vishing: This is phishing done through voice, either by phone or VOIP. It usually involves someone pretending to be from a trusted institution or a threatening, automated voicemail like those from your bank or lenders.
  • Smishing: This is phishing done through SMS or text. Cybercriminals try to get you to click on malicious links either on your phone or computer.
  • Search engine phishing: A fake site is created around SEO results to bump up their page to the top. That way, the chances of you clicking on the wrong link is higher.
  • Spear phishing: Spear phishing is a focused, targeted (spear phishing attack) on a person or organization. Scammers conduct extensive research on the target(s) to pose as someone they trust.
  • Whaling: This is similar to spear phishing but narrows in on important employees, such as C-level executives.

READ MORE : What is Spear Phishing Prevention?

Steer clear of phishing attempts

Now that you know the answer to “what is phishing”, hopefully, you’re armed with the information to keep you and your business safe. Remaining wary of the emails, links, and attachments you receive can save your company from a successful phishing attack.

MORE : Difference Between Phishing and Spear Phishing

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