Crypto Glossary

Spear Phishing

Spear phishing is a personalized, targeted cyber attack that uses your interest to trick you into clicking a malicious link in an email.

What Is Spear Phishing?

Spear phishing is a targeted attack that uses information from social media, work emails, and other sources to launch a one-on-one phishing attack against an individual.

Spear phishing is more dangerous than mass phishing because it uses your personal information (for example, your interest) to gain your trust. This technique is used mostly by cybercriminals to gather information about your organization so they can exploit vulnerabilities and cause maximum disruption.

The biggest threat of spear-phishing is the damage that it inflicts on the reputation of your business. Whether it's a fake CEO email asking for personal details, spoofing a supplier to gain access to their systems, or tricking staff into installing malware on their computer, every instance of spear-phishing can leave staff feeling anxious and vulnerable. In some cases, they get too embarrassed to admit that they fell for a scam, which means the issue could be overlooked and remain undetected for a long period of time.

How to Save Yourself from Spear Phishing?

Spear phishing is a targeted form of phishing. If you receive an email from someone you barely know requesting sensitive personal information, don't give it out. These emails are usually not sent randomly. The sender may know the person they are trying to scam, including their personal details and interests. They might even know their phone number and address.

Spear phishing can also target people in an organization, such as employees in a particular department or company executives. These attackers usually pretend to be someone whom your business deals with on a regular basis, such as a supplier or customer. Therefore, you should open all types of emails with caution.

Here are some of the steps you can take to prevent spear phishing:

  • The foremost thing is to seek awareness regarding cyberattacks and phishing. Organizations need to ensure that they organized education and awareness programs for employees, teaching them how to spot strange links, protect passwords, use social media carefully, and identify suspicious emails.

  • To supplement awareness and education, ensure the use of solid email security software. Such software identifies and blocks phishing emails and other cyberattacks. 

  • No matter how aware and cautious you are, there is a possibility that you will end up being its victim. It is always recommended to create a full backup of your data in an external hard drive, USB, or cloud storage.

  • Always use updated versions of software. Hackers constantly improve their methods to get access somehow, which is why it is crucial to ensure top-notch safety by regularly updating your software and installing new security patches.

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