Phishing is a lot like fishing.  Fishermen will cast out a few lines with some type of bait and see what bites.  The difference is the target is people and the lure is emails.  I am sure you have seen them.  They come into your email with some type of exciting news.  You have won something or click here to get great deals on ”x” product.  Most of the time, those emails look a lot like spam which is why you should never open emails from people you do not know.  There are a few harder ones.  Just like fishermen who use lures that look like real fish, some of those emails will appear to be real as well.  Watch out for emails that claim to be from your bank, an online store, a friend, a social media website you use or even a family member.  They will look real and will expect you to click on a link within the email.  Sometimes they will seem urgent to get you to act quickly.


Watch out for phases like

Official email

Your “bank name” was compromised.  Click here to reset your password.

This is the police department.  We have your car spotted at a crime scene.


Personal/sexy emails

Hey babe, I have not heard from you in a while. Did you not like the pic I sent you 🙁

Check out my new website.  It has some really hot pics I can’t just email to anyone.

Hi, I have not seen you around in a while and it has really messed me up.


Email that looks like it was sent to you by mistake.

Hey Bill, you were right.  I used _____ and I made 300 dollars last night.  You truly are a good friend.

I heard you might be looking for a new job.  We are the number 1 in “whatever” and for someone with your experience we can pay top dollar.  I can wait to let my boss know you are interested.  Click “Here” to fill out the job application and then email me back so I can let him know you are ready for an interview.


Phishing attacks are emails that are sent to a large group of people looking for someone to bite.  The emails will look legitimate at times but if you look closely, you will see clues.  Ask yourself the following questions.


Was I expecting this email?  The email can appear to have come from a friend, co-worker, family member or your bank.  If you were not expecting an email, do not download any attachments or links that are associated with it.  Those emails with try to entice you to do so.  They will do their best to look as official and authentic as possible.  If you do not know, just call them.


It is important to remember your bank and credit card providers will not send you an email informing you about problems with you account.  They will never ask you to verify your information by clicking a link or calling a phone number on an email that you receive.  They will never have you call with a reference number.  They will suspend your account and call you.  If you get a call, you should hang-up and call the number on the back of your card.  This way you know you are talking to the right people.

Why would I get an email not intended for me?  This is one that gets a lot of people.  We all love gossip.  To get an email that looks like we got it by mistake which contains a secret, we are all going to want to read it.  The email will entice with some super secret stock, nude pictures of a girl that was trying to send it to her boyfriend, a home for sale in the neighborhood that is below market value, or whatever someone thinks will get you to read it and click on a link or open an attachment.  Simple point, if the email is not addressed to you, do not waste time on it.

Is this too good to be true?  There are emails offering you the world and depending on your current situation, your judgment may lead you astray. Phishing emails are used to start social engineering attempts.