We all get email throughout the day, and it can be easy to click on a link or attachment without thinking. But that simple action can have serious repercussions.
Spear phishing is a sophisticated type of email phishing using customized messages that target you personally. The criminals behind it try to get your guard down by impersonating a company, service or person you know, to fool you into clicking a link or opening an attachment.
Cyber-crime is big business, run by criminals who profit from tricking people into giving them access to information. That’s why you need to be on the lookout for unexpected messages that include links or attachments, even if they seem to come from someone you recognize, such as a friend, relative, fellow employee or a company you often deal with.
- Don’t assume every email that contains personal or familiar information is legitimate.
- Be suspicious of unexpected requests to click a link, open an attachment, or enter a password – even if you think you recognize the sender, verify the request first.
- Always stop and think before following an email link or opening an attachment. Ask yourself, “Do I really know who sent this?”
- Trust your gut – if it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.