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Email is an essential part or our everyday communications, and it has quickly become one of the most common methods that hackers use to attempt to gain access to sensitive information.
More than 90% of data breaches start with a phishing attack. Phishing uses fraudulent email messages designed to impersonate a legitimate individual or organization, in an attempt to trick the recipient into downloading harmful attachments or accessing a compromising website. In both of these cases the endgame is to obtain sensitive information and/or compromise your computer.
Phishing scams can have a number of different goals. They may attempt to:
Phishing scams typically attempt to take advantage of you by:
You can identify a phishing scam by looking for email messages that:
Always remember that legitimate organizations will never ask for passwords, social security numbers, or any other sensitive data via email. If you receive a message that doesn’t seem right, err on the side of caution, and resist the urge to follow the emails instructions. Instead, contact the business or person directly, and confirm the authenticity of the email message.