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What is phishing?

What is phishing

What exactly does phishing mean?

Phishing is a form of digital fraud in which scammers, for example, act like an important authority with an urgent message for you. Using an e-mail, telephone call, WhatsApp, or SMS, you are requested to provide certain information. As a result, you have given the scammer access to your bank details or personal documents without you realizing it.

The term ‘phishing’ is derived from the word ‘fishing,’ which means ‘to fish.’ Because cybercriminals are, as it were, ‘fishing’ for personal data, this term says something about how they try to scam you.

Phishing in the Netherlands

According to figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), no fewer than 2.5 million Dutch people were victims of phishing in 2021. This form of cybercrime is becoming more common because this type of fraud is increasingly difficult to recognize. Fake emails look increasingly professional, making it difficult for even digitally savvy individuals to distinguish between a ‘genuine’ and a fake email.

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Different forms of phishing

There are different forms of Phishing. The most common form is sending a fake email. Another form of phishing is spear phishing. In this case, the cybercriminal contacts a person or company in a targeted manner. Before this, the criminal investigates the various roles and functions within a company, which allows the fraudster to impersonate a colleague or manager who handles the payments. On behalf of this colleague, the fraudster asks to transfer a payment quickly, mentioning various details that suit the company.

Clone phishing is also a form of phishing. The fraudster copies emails sent to the company. The fraudster replaces the original attachments in these emails with attachments that contain malware. Once this malware is opened, the fraudster can hack into the computer and use the hacked person’s data for criminal purposes.

We also know about phone phishing. In this case, someone is called by an unknown phone number. At the other end of the line are scammers who, for example, act like bank employees or police. They say urgent action is needed to prevent problems or verify something. For example, you must provide your account number or login details for your internet banking.

How can you spot phishing messages?

Recognizing fake emails is an important step in minimizing the chance of being scammed. Phishing emails can be distinguished in several details. For example, look at the e-mail address from which the e-mail was sent. If the email address comes from a trustworthy company, chances are the part after the sign will contain the correct name of the company. Fake emails are often sent from an incorrect email address or contain an extra addition.

If there is a link in an email, you can check it by moving your mouse over the hyperlink. The unsubscribed link will then appear on your screen. If this link matches the link to the sender’s website, it can be trusted. Cybercriminals often use long, illogical URLs, or shorten them using a

Finally, it is essential to know that cybercriminals have an interest in you taking action before you think twice. Cybercriminals often send you messages that require quick action. If you don’t accomplish this, you can lose money or be blocked. In the case of these types of messages, realize that it is extra important not to make hasty decisions.

Phishing via social media

A relatively new form are scams via various social media platforms. The fraudster pretends to be someone else in a fake message and can, for example, ask you to log in to the medium again. Often, the login portal is counterfeit, and it is used to retrieve your data. The criminals who get their hands on these credentials will try to log in to other websites with this data or request money from friends and family through your account.

QR code

QR codes are used to quickly and easily access websites from your phone. However, you have to be careful with this. When scanning a QR code, you do not see in advance which website you will be directed to. So you may enter your login details for your bank account on a website created by criminals.

What if you clicked on a phishing email?

What should you do if you click on a phishing email? In this case, it is necessary to change your passwords for different accounts that you use as soon as possible. Furthermore, contact your bank, if you do not trust the situation, and contact the police.

If clicked on a fake email, you need to be careful with the things you have done or going to do on that device. With the cyber threat detection of Guardey you can monitor if there is suspicious behavior. Try it now for free 14-day trial, and we will send you a cyber alert if we see any suspicious behavior.

Do you want to block phishing threats?

You can stop phishing e-mails using a good spam filter. Unfortunately, all types of phishing can never be completely ruled out. In addition to a spam filter, also set up two-step verification for important accounts, and only submit data via official websites. By using a secure VPN connection, you also give cyber criminals little chance, and all data is locked.

Do you also want to be better protected against phishing? Sign up now for the free 14-day trial at Guardey.

We are always there for you, promise!

Register now for free and never stress about cyber crime again.

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Frequently Asked Questions

I already have a firewall, do I still need Guardey?

Relying solely on a firewall for cyber security leaves your organization vulnerable to evolving and sophisticated threats. Cyber attacks target multiple vectors, including vulnerabilities in software, employee endpoints and web applications. Guardey works in conjunction with the firewall.

Firewalls keep out up to 80% of online risks. With Guardey, it is transparent which online risks did make it through the firewall. In addition, human errors are still too often made, so also train employees to work responsibly online.

I already have a VPN, do I still need Guardey?

It’s good that you are already using a VPN. This makes you invisible to malicious people, but at the end of the day, employees can still be vulnerable by bringing in the wrong orders or wrong websites.

Guardey is more than a business VPN. Guardey also provides monitoring in the VPN tunnel. This detects online risks and allows a quick response.

We are too busy for weekly gamification. Why should I play the gamification?

These days we are all busy, we recognise that 😉 All the more important is employee awareness. Make sure employees don’t accidentally make mistakes due to pressure. After all, that only creates extra work.

That’s why our challenges are only a maximum of 5 minutes and can be done quickly in between. A new challenge becomes available every week. As an organisation, do you want to play these challenges every week, every two weeks or every month? Of course, that’s no problem either.

Can I also play just the gamification?

Short answer: yes! It is possible to play just the gamification.

Have you already taken sufficient cyber security measures for your employees in the office and outside the office? But can awareness still be worked on? Then you can also play just the gamification. This can already be done very easily in just the browser. Check out our game only package here.

Is Guardey effective against phishing attempts?

Phishing is especially dangerous when you don’t know you’re dealing with phishing. That’s why our cyber awarness game is the first step against phishing. Make people aware of the dangers and make sure they have the right knowledge so they don’t click on anything.

Further Guardey plays a crucial role in detecting suspicious online activities. For instance, if a member of your organization interacts with a website known for hosting phishing content, Guardey will promptly alert you about the potential risk. By providing this proactive alert system, Guardey aids in preventing users within your organization from falling prey to phishing scams.

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Anouk ter Harmsel

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