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What is Phishing in cyber security?

2 minute read
Phishing is a method of trying to gather personal information using deceptive e-mail and websites. The goal of phishing is to trick an email recipient into revealing sensitive information like passwords and payment information.
By, Jack Wong

Phishing is a method of trying to gather personal information using deceptive emails and websites. Phishing in cyber security aims to trick an email recipient into revealing sensitive information like passwords and payment information. It is based on the word fishing, which works on the bait concept. Between 2013 and 2015, corporate giants were tricked out of 100 million dollars due to an extensive phishing campaign. Apart from credit access, some of these campaigns target the victim’s device and install malware when they click on the malicious links, which can later function as a botnet target for cyber attacks.

Types of Phishing in Cyber Security:

Spear Phishing:

The targets are researched before receiving an email. For example, a simple screenshot of an Amazon shopping list being shared on social media indicates a probable point of entry, then it is very easy for hackers to send counterfeit messages to the target user while implying the sources of the message being amazon tricking them into sharing private information. Since the hacker already knows the target uses Amazon, the chance of victims taking the bait increases substantially.


For more important targets like senior management roles, the research done is 10 full which can be called a case of whaling. The hackers prepare and wait for the right moment to launch their phishing attacks, often to steal industry secrets for rival companies or sell them off at a higher price.


Pharming focuses on fake websites that resemble their original counterparts as much as possible. The prevalent method is to use a domain name like Facebook with a single ‘o’ or Youtube with no ‘e’. These are mistakes that people make when typing the full URL in the browser, leading them straight to a counterfeit web page that can fool them into submitting private data.

How to prevent Phishing in Cyber Security

Stay alert & update with phishing techniques

Phishing scams are constantly being developed. If you and your employees are not familiar with these new phishing techniques, you must be aware. Stay tuned for news about the new scams that make you much less likely to get caught in a trap. Also, comprehensive security awareness training and simulated phishing for all users are highly recommended in keeping security top of mind throughout the organization.

 Think twice before clicking any specious links

Don’t attempt to click links that you are unsure. A phishing email may look like a legitimate company’s email and when you click the link to the website, it is hard to differentiate it. The email requires you to fill in the information while the email may not contain your name. You should always be alert when you receive any email starting with “Dear Customers” as these might be phishing emails. Please go directly to the source for the fact check rather than clicking a potentially dangerous link.

Use Antivirus Software 

Using updated antivirus software effectively prevents phishing in cyber security. Unique signatures included with antivirus software guards stop known technology workarounds and loopholes. On the other hand, investing in anti-spyware and firewall settings prevent phishing attacks as firewall protection prevents access to malicious files by blocking the attacks. At the same time, Antivirus software scans every file on your computer. It helps to avoid damage to your system.

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