The primary intent behind a phishing attack is to steal your money, data or both. They are one of the most prevalent and successful types of cyberattacks today, and your business could easily be the next victim if you do not pay attention.
Goal of phishing emails
Financial theft — the most common aim. Scammers use various tactics, such as business email compromise (BEC), to carry out fraudulent fund transfers or ransomware attacks to extort money.
Data theft — your data, such as usernames and passwords, identity information (e.g., social security numbers) and financial data (e.g., credit card numbers or bank account information) is gold.
· Scammers routinely send out phishing emails with links containing malicious software that can steal your data and personal information.
· When an email directs you to a website, it might be a malicious site designed to steal your personal information, such as your login credentials.
· When an email contains an attachment, it may contain a malicious extensions disguised to look like a document, invoice, or voicemail to infect your computer and steal your personal information.
· When an email rushes you into taking an urgent action, such as transferring funds, it is most likely a scam. Always verify the authenticity of the request before taking any action.
Types of phishing
Phishing attacks are constantly evolving and while phishing emails are a common method, cybercriminals also use texts, voice calls, and social media messaging.
Spear phishing — Scammers send highly personalized emails targeting individuals or businesses to convince them to share sensitive information, such as login credentials or credit card information, and to spread infected malware.
Whaling — A type of spear phishing, whaling targets high-level executives. Perpetrators impersonate trusted sources or websites to steal information or money.
Smishing — Increasingly popular, smishing uses text messages claiming to be from trusted sources to convince victims to share sensitive information or send money.
Vishing — Cybercriminals use vishing or voice phishing to place calls impersonating a professional from the IRS, a bank, or the victim’s office, for example, to convince them to share sensitive personal information.
Business email compromise (BEC) — Uses a seemingly legitimate email address to mislead the recipient, who is often a senior-level executive, to send money to the cybercriminal while convincing them they are performing a legitimate, authorized business transaction.
Angler phishing — Also known as social media phishing, cybercriminals with fake customer service accounts deceive disgruntled customers into revealing their sensitive information, including bank details. Scammers often target financial institutions and e-commerce businesses.
Brand impersonation — Also known as brand spoofing, carried out using emails, texts, voice calls, and social media messages, cybercriminals impersonate a popular business to defraud its customers. Such scams can profoundly impact the brand image.
Emails are a critical means of business communication. Sydow Inc will equip you to implement email best practices and safety standards so you can focus on your business without worry. Contact us now!
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Meanwhile, to learn how to secure your inbox, download our eBook — Your Guide to Email Safety — that will help you improve your email security and avoid potential traps.