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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.

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

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Guardey in short?

You just want to know what Guardey is, in a few lines, not scrolling through the whole website. We got you covered. Here you are:

Guardey focuses on three parts of your cyber security:

A safe and encrypted VPN connection via Guardey’s secure infrastructure or a Site-to-Site VPN.

We analyze information packages from the data going through the VPN tunnel, give clear insights into your data infrastructure, and provide alerts in case of threats like ransomware, viruses, and irregularities in your network.

Your cyber security is as strong as your weakest link. With Guardey, you can educate your whole team and increase awareness in a fun and efficient way through gamification.

It’s an advanced software as a service with applications for Windows and Mac OSX and an online platform for reporting and managing your teams and company policies.

How does the free trial works?

Your free 14-day trial with Guardey is based on our Basic plan. In our basic plan, all the alarms will only be available for yourself or your own company, and you manage the alarms in-house. We don’t need any payment information to start your trial, and you can invite as many users as you want.

The majority of SMEs don’t have an in-house IT department or a team of cyber security specialists. Therefore we also offer Guardey co-managed and Guardey custom. In both plans, you are able to connect Guardey to a preferred Guardy IT partner or, of course, your own IT partner.

They can semi or fully manage the alarms and the health of your infrastructure so that you can focus on your business.

After your 14 days of the free trial, you can decide if you want to continue with a paid plan. Upgrading during your trial period means you stop your trial and upgrade to a paid plan. You need a verified payment method to upgrade.

How can I pay after the trial period?

We don’t ask for any payment information to start your trial.

If you want to upgrade during or after your free trial to a paid plan, you can use one of the below payment methods:

  1. Credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Maestro, PostePay, Cartes Bancaires)
  2. PayPal
  3. Direct Debit (iDeal SEPA)
Can I up- or downgrade to a different plan?

Yes you can! You can always upgrade immediately and costs are calculated pro-rata on your next invoice. A downgrade will be effective from your next payment period.

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