Phishing emails are much more dangerous than the name implies – and nothing to do with catching water-dwelling creatures. No: this kind of phishing entails an attempted scam where you lie at the heart of a cyber-attack.
Phishing is when a scammer attempts to steal private information, download a virus on to your device, or access your bank account details by luring you into clicking a dangerous link. Text messages, emails, and social media messages are the most common channels for phishing scammers to target.
So, should I be scared?
Well, yes and no.
Yes, in the sense that a failure to recognise, understand, and avoid these scams can result in the breaching of your most private and valuable data with irreversible consequences.
As of April 2022, the UK National Cyber Security Centre has received over 11 million reported scams – bear in mind that this figure accounts only for scams that have been recorded, excluding the millions that go undetected.
11 million is a big number – but just one can cause detrimental damage.
On August 14, 2018, an unsuspecting employee at a single health practice followed a deceivingly ‘safe’ link on their computer.
It was not until almost 3 whole months later that the organisation became aware of suspicious activity on their servers.
During this period, the privacy, and confidential data of over 23,000 accounts were breached, leaking ‘names, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, dates of service and diagnoses, lab results, and patient treatment information.’
This was, as you can imagine, irreversibly damaging to the practice, their clients, and their reputation.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. It was also easily preventable with the appropriate education.
Phishing emails should be a major concern to you and your business – don’t wait to learn this the hard way.