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    What Is Phishing?

    Posted by Brad Hancock on Jan 9, 2023 1:33:02 PM

    Phishing is a type of cybercrime in which attackers attempt to trick individuals into revealing sensitive information, such as passwords, financial account numbers, and other personal data, through fake email phishing scams, phishing websites, and SMS messages. These phishing attempts are typically carried out through email or social media, and they often mimic legitimate sources in order to gain the trust of the victim.

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    The goal of phishing attacks is to steal sensitive information or to infect the victim's computer with malware. In many cases, the attacker will send an email or message that appears to come from a legitimate source, such as a bank, government agency, or well-known company. The message will often include a link or attachment that, when clicked or downloaded, will install malware on the victim's computer or redirect them to a fake website where they will be prompted to enter their login credentials or other sensitive information.

    What Is Phishing?

    Common Phishing Techniques

    Phishing attacks come in many forms. The common types of Phishing Attacks include:

    • Email phishing: This is the most common type of phishing attack, in which the attacker sends a fake email (phishing email) that appears to come from a legitimate source. The phishing email may contain a malicious link or attachment that, when clicked, will install malware on the victim's computer or redirect them to a fake website.
    • Spear Phishing Attacks: This type of phishing attack is more targeted and is designed to target specific individuals or organizations. The attacker will often gather personal details about the victim through social media posts or other online sources in order to craft a more convincing attack.
    • Smishing: This type of phishing attack occurs through text messages and is designed to trick the victim into revealing sensitive information or installing malware on their phone through phishing messages.
    • Vishing: This type of voice phishing attack occurs over the phone and is designed to trick the victim into revealing sensitive information or providing personal details on their phone.
    • Whale Phishing: This type of phishing attack occurs when a cyber criminal impersonates a high-level executive in order to manipulate employees into transferring money or sharing sensitive information via fraudulent emails.

    Protecting Your Systems From Phishing Attacks

    Protecting Your Systems

    There are several ways that individuals and organizations can protect themselves from common phishing techniques. These include:

    1. Be cautious when clicking on links or downloading attachments from unknown sources: If you receive an email or suspicious message from an unfamiliar email address, do not click on any links or download any attachments until you have confirmed that the message is legitimate.
    2. Installing antivirus software: Antivirus software can help protect your computer from malware that may be installed through a phishing attack.
    3. Using strong, unique passwords, and other security controls: Using strong, unique passwords for all of your accounts can help protect them from being compromised in a phishing attack. Implementing the use of two-factor authentication and encryption is also highly recommended.
    4. Being aware of social engineering techniques: Attackers often use social engineering techniques, such as creating a sense of urgency or fear, in order to trick victims into revealing sensitive information. Being aware of these techniques can help you recognize a phishing attack and take appropriate action.
    5. Reporting suspicious emails or messages: If you receive a suspicious email or message, report it to your organization's IT department or to the authorities.
    6. Cyber Liability: If all else fails and your system is compromised. Do you have the resources to clean up or even replace your systems to get your business back up and running? A cyber liability insurance policy can help you recover quickly with limited financial impact if you were to become a victim of a successful phishing attack.

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    Phishing attacks are primarily designed mainly so cyber criminals can implant malware onto your systems. Malware is short for "malicious software." It is a type of software that is designed to harm or exploit computer systems, steal sensitive information, or gain unauthorized access to computer systems. There are many different types of malware, including viruses, worms, trojans, ransomware, and spyware.

    Malware can be difficult to detect and remove, and it can cause serious damage to a computer system if it is not properly dealt with. It is important to protect your computer with antivirus software and to be cautious when downloading files or opening email attachments as mentioned previously.

    Often without the right cyber systems in place, this malicious software might be operating on your server or systems for weeks if not months before you are aware of its presence. In some instances, the cybercriminal may take their time reviewing the information available and then lock down your computer via a ransomware attack once they determine what your data could be worth to you.

    Understanding Your Risk

    Cyber crimes are on the rise. Unfortunately, not all cyber attacks can be prevented, but the best defense is a strong offense. Taking the steps now to make sure you have strong cyber security procedures and a response plan in the event of a phishing attack is vitally important.

    Even with all the right procedures in place, attacks are always evolving. If you would like to obtain a cyber vulnerability assessment as provided to all of our clients please reach out to Insurance For Texans. We can also help put you in touch with cybersecurity experts who can help strengthen your systems and procedures now. As a Texas commercial insurance provider, we can also help with a number of other vital insurance coverages including property, liability, auto, worker's compensation, and more.

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    Topics: Texas, insurance for texans, business coverage, North Texas, Dallas/Fort Worth, cyber insurance, commercial texas insurance, phishing