Phishing Awareness

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This short professional development course should take you about 20 minutes to complete. You can stop and come back if you don’t have 20 minutes.

What is in this course is important for anyone who has:

  • an email address
  • uses the internet.

These days there are very few people who don’t use these two technologies regularly. They have become essentials for getting by in our world.

A few years ago an associate who was the IT manager for a large organisation told me how one employee clicked on one email link that triggered the corruption of most of the organisation’s files within the hour. 

A simple honest mistake by one person resulted in many thousands of dollars of damage that took months to rectify. This story is not that uncommon. It’s easy enough to do and anyone can make a mistake. 

The question is not if you will have a security breach it’s when you will be breached. And then the effect of that breach will depend on how you have mitigated that risk . This will determine the impact of the breach on your personal affairs or business or organisation. Even for personal users if you have been attacked by ransomware it can cost you $500 or more to get your data back. But, the best defence is understanding. 

Understanding these risks is important for every user of the internet. 

  • Every 20 seconds a new phishing portal is registered and launched, which now also includes Covid-19 related phishing attacks. 
  • Between January and March 2020, 51,000 coronavirus-themed domains were registered globally.
  • In April 2020, cyber criminals sent 18 million phishing mails related to Covid-19. Google reported blocking over 250 million Covid-19 spam and phishing emails.
  • An alarming 40% of employees with little or no phishing awareness training regularly failed during simulated phishing campaigns and assessment tests.
  • Nearly 60% of the data breaches are due mainly to human error. These include trained and untrained insiders who fell prey to phishing attacks.

Just in case you don’t think it can happen to you listen to this podcast from Gimlet media, What kind of idiot gets phished: