Phishing is a technique in which hackers pose as trusted figures for nefarious purposes. Tactics may include sending fake invoices or asking the user to confirm personal information. To spot phishing attempts, check who is sending the email and what the subject line says (misspellings are a giveaway). Also look for suspicious attachments or outbound links. For protection, keep security software up-to-date and use multi-factor authentication. Also, remember that clicking links and pop-up dialog boxes can cause problems. If you suspect you are the victim of a phishing attack at work, notify the IT department. If personal information may have been compromised, visit

Key Takeaways:

  • Phishing is a common hacking technique using false pre-text to gain one’s confidence and thus reveal sensitive data.
  • To identify and counter a phishing attack requires vigilance. Check communications, business transactions, and advertisements for fake or misleading information.
  • Paying close attention to email is the most effective step one can take to avoid phishing attacks. This includes not clicking on links, updating software, and obtaining 2-factor authentication.

“One of the most common ways phishing occurs is by using the art of storytelling to entice users to interact with a link or attachment.”

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