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What does Phishing mean?

You may have heard this term from time to time. So what is phishing and what does phishing mean? The term has been around since the mid-90’s but basically all it means is an email sent to you claims to be from your bank, Amazon, PayPal, HMRC or any other company asking you to provide some private information that could be used for identity theft or in the case of financial organisations, to steal your money!

The phishing email will look like it has come from a genuine company but if you click on the links within it, you’ll be taken to a website that again looks genuine, and you’ll be asked to update private information such as usernames, passwords, credit card details, bank account details and so on. The legitimate company would already have all that information so that should ring alarm bells straight away. The website is not genuine however and would have been setup for the sole purpose to steal the information you care to submit.

Examples of Phishing Scams

There are many examples – you probably have many in your inbox right now. They’ll claim that something has been compromised and that you need to log onto their website to validate the information.

I have several examples on this site:

Why is Phishing so widespread?

The sheer number of phishing emails being sent out each day (spam) means that some people, even if only a small percentage, may be fooled by the email and click on the links within it. The name “phishing” comes “fishing” – where bait is thrown into the water – you know that almost all the fish will ignore it, but there will be some who take the bait.

Please let me know below if you have any questions, or tales to tell regarding phishing.

All the best, Mark