What's phishing?

Written by Adam


People talk about phishing, but what is it really?  What is a phisher trying to do?

Phishing is when someone is posing as a legitimate organisation in order to get log in details, so they can use them for their own advantage.  This allows them access to spam your contact list or hijack your accounts.

How do they do this?

It’s usually a post on Twitter, Facebook or one of the other social media sites that looks like a status update, usually from one of your friends with a link to a website.

How do I spot a phishing message?

  • If a message is out of character don’t click the link – even if you know the person who has sent it.  If it’s phrasing or language they wouldn’t use – don’t click the link.
  • If it’s a vague statement – e.g. ‘have you seen this?’ or something unexpected ‘are you in this photo?’ just don’t click it.
  • If it makes a claim that doesn’t seem likely don’t take the risk.  For example Facebook don’t have an app that allows you to see who has looked at your profile no matter what your friends’ tweets or status updates might say.

What happens if I do click a link without realising?

If you realise later then you should change your password for the account that you’ve used to click through.

Malicious links are usually simply irritating and irritate all your connections so don’t do your reputation any good, but mostly don’t do much worse, but some can hack into your accounts and install bugs in your computer.

What’s the solution?

Apply common sense and you won’t need us to come and debug your computers!

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