As we’ve shifted to an online world, we’ve sadly seen a huge increase in the quantity and sophistication of phishing attacks. Phishing is a term used to describe fraudulent ways to get access to systems and information, whether that’s your personal details for the purposes of identity theft, or access to your online bank accounts.
Google has recently launched a phishing quiz to help web users identify phishing attacks, and it’s a very smart approach. We highly encourage you to give it a go at: https://phishingquiz.withgoogle.com/
Whether you ace the quiz or fail, there is plenty to still be learned. It is part of Google’s wider efforts to make the web a safer place, alongside efforts to highlight insecure URLs for domains not using HTTPS encryption, and other measures.
You start by entering a name and an email address. It does not have to be real just to get the ball rolling. Then it will start going through common phishing scenarios and you have to determine if it is legitimate or a phishing email.
Whether you get it wrong or right it will give you further information as to what you did well and what to look out for in future.
You may be surprised to see how easy and simple the email can look in order for scammers to lure in their prey. The scammers want to appear as though they are actually your work colleagues, bank or other important business you deal with an element of psychological manipulation to deal with as well.
Use your brain when assessing an incoming message. If it looks dodgy, or it’s trying to make you panic, think twice, and possibly contact the individual (or business) directly.
Tip: Keep an eye out for more obvious clues, such as email addresses or URLs that don’t quite resolve where they should if you hover your mouse over them.