Phishing is a type of cyber attack that utilizes social engineering in an attempt to steal your identity by obtaining your personal information. By impersonating a person or company you trust, the scammer tries to receive your passwords, credit card numbers, account numbers, birthdate, or other information. Phishing can also be conducted via e-mail, websites, telephone, or even postal mail. The point is to exploit you without you knowing and with your help. Knowing how to protect yourself by learning how to spot phishing attempts can protect you against having you identity stolen.
Protecting yourself from this type of cyber-attack relies only on your vigilance online. Always be on the lookout for odd letters or emails requesting information, especially when there are spelling errors or mysterious links. Often a phishing email will pose as one company but the link inside goes to a completely different obscure website. Ensure that trusted websites are the official versions and not just impersonations before you submit personal information. If you are suspicious of a website, link, or any form of communication, you can report it to Information Security by forwarding the email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.