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Phishing involves scammers trying to steal your personal information, such as passwords, account numbers and Social Security numbers. Attackers then use this to gain access to your email, bank or other accounts, or sell it on the dark web. Often, attackers will target specific companies or organizations in which you do business. Then, they will try to impersonate those organizations with an email or fake Internet page designed to look exactly like the real thing.

These attacks can also be incredibly sophisticated. Attackers use public sources such as social media to gather information about a potential victim, such as their name, job title and other details. This allows them to create a credible fake message that is more likely to fool people into handing over confidential data.

For example, attackers might pretend to be a customer support representative from a specific brand and convince victims that there is a problem with their direct deposit or online banking. This will lead them to click a link and end up on a phony website that will install malware on their computer or steal their login credentials.

Attackers will also clone legitimate emails, which gives them greater credence since they will appear to come from a known sender. If an email sounds overly casual or uses language that differs from the tone of legitimate organizational communications, it should raise suspicion. It is also important to encourage employees to report suspicious messages and ensure that they have a mechanism in place for them to do so.