What Is Phishing, and How Does it Affect My Website?

Online security is a talked-about topic these days, and the word “phishing” gets thrown around quite a bit. Even if you know nothing about viruses, malware, or even how to protect yourself online at all, you probably have come across the term at some point.

But even though you are aware that it exists, you can still find yourself as a victim of phishing. And even worse, your website could be the source of a phishing attack.

What is phishing, anyway?

Phishing is a type of attack by cybercriminals that uses email as the main weapon.

When a hacker launches a phishing attack, he or she is trying to trick you into believing that the message is from a legitimate source so that you will click a link or download an attachment.

At its core, phishing is a very basic attack – and similar to the types of hacking that have been populating the internet since its start. We all have seen spam emails hit our inboxes since we first got our email addresses. The goal has always been to click a link or download and open an attachment. That’s why we all learned not to click links or open attachments from people we don’t know. That piece of advice is easy.

But what makes phishing so dangerous is that the sender masquerades as someone you know and/or trust.

For example, you might receive an email that appears to be from your bank. The email address looks like your bank. The email is formatted just like any other email you get from your bank. The logo is there. It all looks like it’s on the up and up.

The email states that you need to verify some information on your account due to a database breach. It makes sense in your mind because hackers do attack bank databases regularly, so you would think your bank is just looking out for your safety by asking you to verify some of your personal data.

The URL it asks you to click looks like it’s from your bank’s website, too. Everything checks out.

The problem is, none of this is legitimate.

If you look closely, you’ll notice that the return email isn’t anything like the official email accounts from your bank. When you hover over the URL, you’ll see that the link that you would click on is not actually the URL listed, but another email address.

And then there’s the logic side of it: if there was a breach of your data, your bank would ask you to visit their official website and log in with your credentials securely to change any passwords and secure your data. Or even more common, they will simply reset your password for you.

In other words, they wouldn’t email you asking you to click a link and enter in your social security number or your banking information. That’s not how it works.

As you can see, there are layers to a phishing attempt that you need to be aware of, or you could quite easily fall for one and have your identity stolen. That is what makes phishing attempts so dangerous.

How does a phishing attack affect my website?

Not only can you be the target of a phishing attack unknowingly, you could also be the source of a phishing attack without realizing it!

Hackers need to send a lot of spam email when launching a phishing attack, and they often don’t bother paying for their own email servers. After all, not only would that get expensive, but they could be flagged for abuse. It’s much safer for an attacker to hijack someone else’s resources, so that they are not risking anything – including their money.

If you learn that your website is sending spam emails, you could get very frustrated. Your email accounts could be flagged for abuse and suspended, and so could your website.

If your site is blacklisted and your accounts are suspended, your business could come to a sudden, screeching halt.

Fortunately, you don’t have to needlessly worry about such an attack being launched on your site.

With Sectigo Web Detect service, your site and its files will be scanned every day to note any security issues that could be signs of malicious activity. This includes spam listings and infections, as well as any blacklisting of your site.

The key to recovering from a phishing attack is being proactive, and Sectigo Web offers a turnkey solution for you.

NOTE:: This is article is copyright by Sectigo and we are used it for education or information purposes only.

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