Dwight Watt - Newspaper Article #492 2/26/2020

Question: What is phishing?


Phishing (pronounced fishing) is where threat actors send emails to people hoping to get them to click malicious links in the email and give them personal information.

These emails can appear in lots of different forms. They can appear to be from a bank or credit card company and state they need to update your information. They can appear to be from email providers wanting you to click the link to use a new version of their email program or that they need you to update information. They can also be from people who claim they have found a lot of money for you or that you won a foreign lottery or a person of royalty who lived in Nigeria has died and left a fortune to you or they need you help them get their money to the USA and you will get to keep a percentage.

All of those are false just as much as the email I got supposedly from my college president asking if I was free. (I do not work free for the college; I make them pay me). The link will take you to a site not associated with the claimed organization, but the better ones make it look like it is real. They are wanting to get things like passwords, bank account numbers, etc. so either they can then get in certain accounts or so they can log in your bank and empty your account.

If you happen to click on one of these links cancel immediately and change passwords and notify bank and police. If you provide information in one, do that stuff even quicker.

How can you tell it is false? No bank, credit card will ask you via email to give them your email. If any doubt with these call the bank or organization with phone number you know or listed on card, not the phone number in email.

Things to look for in email. Hover over the email address and see what the real address is. The email from supposedly my president gave a domain like thebestdiet.com and our email addresses at the college use the initials of the college.edu. Second look for grammar and spelling errors although the threat actors either have finally started passing English or are hiring good proofreaders so less of this. Hover over the address of the link they want you to click and see what the real address is. It probably wonít look anything like what it should be. However, be careful of one thing. Some of them put as last folder name the real address of the organization and if you donít notice more stuff at beginning it may mislead you

Lastly think do I really have an account with this bank, thru the phishing emails I learned there is a Bank of Dwight in Illinois. However, I have no account there so why would they need me to verify my account.

Be intelligent and wary as you explore the Internet. Lots of stuff that is great out there but there is also bad stuff.