What is a Phishing email

Phishing is quickly becoming the most popular way hackers will try to gain sensitive information. In fact, 64 per cent of the data breaches reported to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner between the 1 April 2018 and 30 June 2018 involved the compromising of credentials through either phishing attacks or other unknown methods.

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As phishing attacks require the recipient to be fooled in order to work, this is quite concerning as they are usually quite easy to spot.

A phishing email is one that contains deceptive messages and lures the recipient to click on a link to a fraudulent website that usually tries to imitate sites from well-known companies – such as banks or telecommunication companies. In fact, it takes its name from fishing as the process is similar. Bait (in this case an email) is cast out and then it’s up for the victims to bite. As with fishing lures, phishing lures are becoming more and more realistic.

Hackers are even tailoring these emails to the time of year to seem more legitimate and fool more people. For example, tax time often sees a spike in phishing attacks claiming to be from the Australian Tax Office and Christmas time often sees offers that are too good to be true.

Below are some examples of phishing emails that have been circulating recently.

1. Australian Tax Office

Email not as it seems - photo 1

2. Loyalty Program 

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3. Office Supplier

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Can you spot why these emails are not legitimate? Check out our “4 tips to decoding a phishing email” and then see if you can spot them.

It is well worth taking a little bit of extra time to make sense of an email and make sure it is legitimate as the costs of a data breach can be immense and can even potentially end your business. Remember that it is always better to delete and ignore an email if you are not sure.

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