November, 2023 Blog archives

Feeling Phishy: How to Be Safer in the Digital Ocean

Published November 06, 2023

In today's digitally connected world, communication has never been easier, but alongside the convenience comes a pervasive threat—phishing emails. These deceptive messages lurk in our inboxes, masquerading as legitimate correspondence while aiming to deceive recipients. From individuals to large corporations, everyone is a potential target in the expansive net of cybercrime. Understanding the insidious nature of phishing emails and learning how to identify and combat them is crucial to staying safe in the virtual realm.

What is a Phishing Email?

Phishing emails are fraudulent deceptive messages sent by bad actors with the intent to manipulate individuals into revealing sensitive information such as passwords, credit card numbers, or personal details. The emails often appear to come from reputable sources like banks, government institutions, or familiar brands. The fraudulent messages typically contain urgent requests, warnings of account suspension, or enticing offers to prompt recipients into taking immediate action.

These emails use various tactics to appear legitimate:

  1. Spoofing Identities: Cybercriminals impersonate trusted entities by mimicking their logos, email addresses, and language, making it difficult to discern their fraudulent nature.
  2. Urgency or Fear Tactics: Messages often create a sense of urgency or fear, pressuring recipients to act quickly without thinking, appealing to their emotions.
  3. Hyperlinks and Attachments: Phishing emails contain links or attachments that, once clicked or downloaded, can lead to the installation of malware or direct users to fake websites where personal information is solicited.

How to Recognize and Defend against Phishing Attacks?

SLAM infographic with a hooded hacker and text explaining the SLAM method against phishing.

To protect oneself and others from falling victim to these fraudulent schemes, it's crucial to employ various defensive strategies. We recommend using the SLAM method:

  1. SENDER: Don’t trust display names. Scrutinize the sender’s email address. Check for minor misspellings or alterations that might indicate a fraudulent account. Authentic companies or institutions usually have domain-specific email addresses.
  2. LINKS: Use caution before clicking on a link. Hover the cursor over any links in the email without clicking on them. This action reveals the actual URL, allowing you to verify if it matches the intended destination.
  3. ATTACHMENTS: Avoid downloading or opening attachments from unknown or unexpected sources. When in doubt, reach out directly to the supposed sender through verified channels to confirm the legitimacy of the email and attachment.
  4. MESSAGING: Look for uncommon phrasing, spelling, or odd requests. A sense of urgency may also exist in the message. 


Phishing emails continue to evolve, becoming more sophisticated and harder to detect. However, armed with knowledge and caution, individuals can thwart these attempts to protect their sensitive information. Vigilance, education, and the use of technological safeguards are pivotal in guarding against the insidious nature of phishing emails.

Remember, when in doubt, it's always safer to verify the authenticity of an email through official channels rather than risk falling prey to these deceitful tactics. In the vast virtual ocean, staying alert and informed is the key to navigating the deceptive web of phishing emails and ensuring a safer online experience.

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