What Is Phishing?
Phishing is simply an attempt by electronic means to gather important information such as usernames, passwords, credit card numbers and social insurance numbers. It is a variant of the word “fishing” and is pronounced the same way. Phishers most frequently use e-mail to pretend to be a trusted third party such as a Bank, Government Organization or Internet Service Provider (ISP). The content of a phishing e-mail message will often be laid out with images from the organization that the phisher is pretending to be in order to make the email appear authentic.
Most phishing emails will contain a link that directs the reader to “log in” or provide information in order to keep their account active or safe. At first glance the link will appear to direct the reader to a proper web page for the organization in question, as the web page will also be ‘dressed up’ (just like the phishing email) with company logos and graphics to make it look legitimate. Anything typed into the fake page is then captured by the phisher.
Simpler phishing attempts instruct the reader to reply to the email with their login, password, bank card number, PIN, etc. Execulink Telecom will never email you asking to reply with your passwords, banking information, PIN, or any other sensitive information.
Spotting Phishing Attempts
- Requests for information the sender would already have (i.e. account numbers, usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, etc.)
- Spelling mistakes or poor grammar – it is odd for a corporation to fail to proof- read/spell check an email that will be sent to their customers.
- The email contains incorrect links (i.e. the email claims to be from eBay or Execulink, but links and/or email addresses don’t go to ebay.ca or execulink.com).
What can you do
- You can take steps to avoid phishing attempts by slightly modifying your browsing habits. When contacted about an account needing to be “verified” (or any other topic used by phishers), it is a sensible precaution to contact the company from which the email apparently originates to check that the email is legit. You can also try going to the company’s genuine website rather than trusting any hyperlinks in the suspected phishing message. (Source:www.wikipedia.org)
- Further details about Phishing can be found on Wikipedia at