What is Phishing?

Phishing is a cybercrime technique that uses fraud, deception, and scam to manipulate its victims into revealing sensitive personal information. Learn how it works so you can detect and block phishing scams to keep your data safe from attackers.

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How Does It work?

Most phishing attacks start with an email or direct message in which the sender impersonates a real bank, company, or other organization to mislead the recipient. This email includes links to a website, which simulates one of the legitimate company, and in which the victim is prompted to enter their personal data.

Although email continues to be the means most used by cybercriminals for this type of fraud, phishing can use other means of communication as well: via SMS (sometimes called smishing), VoIP (vishing ), or instant messages on social networks.

Also, criminals use certain social engineering tricks to create alarms in the recipients of messages, with indications of urgency, alarm, and different calls to action. The idea is that the user acts immediately on the stimulus and does not stop to analyze the risks of their action.

How to recognize a Phishing message

Companies rarely request personal data via email, SMS, or DM. The mere fact that it happens should put us on our guard.

Phishing messages are not always easy to recognize by their appearance. However, faithfully reproducing a company’s format requires time and effort that criminals are not usually willing to invest. Errors, inconsistencies, or misspellings are a clear indication. 

These are some of the warning signs:

  • Informally written subject
  • Sent from a suspicious account
  • The recipient is not your email address
  • The message does not name the recipient
  • Grammar and other errors in content
  • Immediate action is required
  • Typical signature content that you would expect from an official email is missing

How to protect yourself against Phishing

Educate yourself – Stay one step ahead of phishers by deepening your knowledge of the latest scams.

Be skeptical – Before clicking on any links or downloading any attachments, please review the phishing red flags mentioned in the article. If any of those signals apply to the message in question, please report it and delete it.

Confirm before you act – Authentic companies will never contact you by email or phone to request personal information. If it happens, call the company yourself with the contact details listed on their legitimate website to confirm anything that was said to you in the email or call. Do not respond directly to suspicious emails. 

Check security certificates – Verify that the URL begins with HTTPS and look for a lock icon next to the URL.

Change passwords regularly – Phishers can’t do much with your passwords if they are no longer valid. Update passwords from time to time and use a password manager to keep them safe and secure.

Read emails as plain text – This is a neat trick that helps detect email phishing scams. Convert a message to plain text, and you can detect hidden image URLs that would not be visible in HTML mode.

If you’re ready for a challenging career in the telecommunications industry, check out our open positions. 


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