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Can You Spot A Phishing Email? Take The Quiz And Find Out! PDF Print E-mail

October 23, 2019 - How well educated do you think you are on email phishing attacks? Do you think you can spot one? Lots of people believe that they're quite well prepared for these kinds of email messages and can avoid them, only to find out later that they're not as well prepared as they thought. Jigsaw, a subsidiary of Google has released an online quiz that is both interesting and informative. Even if you spot everything in it, it's good practice. 

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To be clear, I didn't do as well on the quiz as I thought I would. And I try to follow best practices when I open email and attachments. But anyone can get busy, start to rush through things and then do something stupid. In the case of the quiz, I was rushing through it and didn't spot a couple of things that I really should have. You can take the quiz here: https://phishingquiz.withgoogle.com/. We're advising all of our readers to try it out because phishing attacks have continued to become more sophisticated, and their costs have continued to rise.

According to a report by PhishMe, the number of phishing attacks grew 65% year over year in 2018. And the average cost of an attack on a mid-sized business was $1.6 million. That could be enough to bankrupt some businesses.

The problem with phishing attacks is that they come in many forms and target people based on different emotions. In corporate attacks, the weakest link in the chain seems to be employees. And their week spot seems to be entertainment. Send an employee of a company a link to a juicy article or a video on some celebrity and there is a better chance that they will click on it than if the message was about the company's electric bill being a couple of days late.

But when it comes to individual consumers, a message about a late bill might be just the thing to get them to click. The people behind these attacks know this and use it to their advantage.

Regardless of the motivation for clicking on links and attachments in email messages, a little education can go a long way towards putting a stop to phishing. The quiz takes just a few minutes, and it prevents you from becoming a victim, it's a few minutes well spent.

by Jim Malmberg

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