What to do if you have responded to a phishing email?

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phishing attacks

You have responded to a phishing email: what to do? Proofpoint helps us understand how to recognize the various types of phishing and how to behave when you receive one of these dangerous emails. Which become increasingly insidious: threat actors continue to develop new techniques to trick people into revealing sensitive information. It is therefore necessary to inform yourself to avoid scams that can go far beyond simple financial loss.

You have responded to a phishing email, how to react?

Ferdinando Mancini, Director, Southern Europe Sales Engineering at Proofpoint, helps us distinguish between the various types of phishing attacks. The most widespread is the phishing via e-mail: You receive emails appearing to come from trusted sources, but with links to fake websites. Here, hackers steal login credentials, credit card information, or other sensitive data.

But there are also other types of attacks, variations of the “classic” phishing:

  • Spear phishing: A more targeted form of attack, spear phishing involves the criminal seeking out the victim’s specific interests and information. They are therefore more targeted emails, with your name and information about you (perhaps taken from social media or from previous online attacks).
  • Whaling: Essentially spear phishing, but focused on high-level executives or individuals with decision-making power. The term “Whale”, literally “whale”, is part of American criminal jargon and indicates people with great spending power.
  • Vishing (Voice Phishing): The attack comes via phone calls where the hacker tricks the victim into revealing sensitive information. Usually, he pretends to be part of a bank, a telephone company and more.
  • Smishing: Similar to vishing, but perpetrated with text messages containing links to fake websites or requests for confidential information.
  • TOAD (Telephone-oriented Attack Delivery): Phone calls that trick victims into revealing sensitive data. Attackers exploit trust and urgency: they can pretend that a relative or friend of yours has suffered an accident, for example.
  • How to fix it?

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    Proofpoint also suggested some remedies that you can put into practice if you think you have responded to a phishing email or other type of cyber attack. You can:

  • Change passwords: And make sure the new ones are complex and unique. To remember them, focus on password managers, rather than always using the same ones.
  • Report the incident: Notify your IT department or email provider promptly. Quick reporting helps identify the source of the email. And, perhaps, to help other people who may be at the same risk as you.
  • Turn on two-factor authentication (2FA): Add an extra layer of security to protect you from phishing attacks. On your email account and on all online accounts you use regularly.
  • Monitor your accounts: Scan your device for malware after a phishing email.
  • Contact the company: If the email appeared to come from a reliable source, inform the organization involved.
  • Inquire about: Knowing the different types of phishing attacks and the telltale signs can help prevent them in the future.
  • Information is the first step in protecting yourself from this type of attack. Pay attention and respond as soon as possible: this will reduce the damage of a possible attack. Find more information on the Proofpoint website.

    Walker Ronnie is a tech writer who keeps you informed on the latest developments in the world of technology. With a keen interest in all things tech-related, Walker shares insights and updates on new gadgets, innovative advancements, and digital trends. Stay connected with Walker to stay ahead in the ever-evolving world of technology.