Definition & Meaning:

Phishing is a type of cyber attack that involves tricking individuals into revealing personal and sensitive information, such as passwords, credit card numbers, and social security numbers.

This is done through deceptive emails, messages, or websites that appear to be from legitimate sources, such as banks, social media platforms, or even colleagues and friends, but are actually controlled by attackers.

The goal of phishing is to steal personal information or install malware on the victim’s computer.

For example, you might receive an email that looks like it’s from your bank, asking you to click a link and confirm your account details.

However, the link leads to a fake website designed to capture your information. Phishing attacks can also take the form of messages asking you to view a document or listen to a voicemail.

Clicking on the link or attachment in such messages can lead to malware being downloaded to your device. This malware can then be used to steal further information or gain control over your device.

Attackers often use urgent language or threaten negative consequences to prompt a quick response from the victim.

This could include warnings about account suspension, unauthorized login attempts, or unclaimed benefits that require immediate action.

To protect yourself from phishing, it’s important to be cautious with emails and messages asking for personal information or urging you to click on links or download attachments.

Always verify the authenticity of the request by contacting the organization directly using a known email or phone number, rather than the contact information provided in the suspicious message.

Additionally, keeping your software updated and using antivirus software can help protect against phishing attempts. Many web browsers and email services also offer features to help identify and filter out phishing attempts.