Hook, Line, and Sinker: The Art of Phishing and How to Avoid Being Caught!

Corey Turner
May 10, 2023
mins read

Phishing is a type of cyber-attack in which an attacker pretends to be a trustworthy entity to trick individuals into sharing sensitive information, such as login credentials, personal data, or financial information. Phishing attacks are becoming increasingly common, with the FBI reporting that phishing is one of the most common types of cyber-attack. In this blog post, we will discuss how phishing works and provide best practices to decrease the success of phishing attacks.

How Phishing Works

Phishing attacks can occur through various methods, such as email, text messages, social media, or even phone calls. Attackers use social engineering techniques to trick individuals into clicking on malicious links, downloading malware, or revealing sensitive information. The most common phishing method is through email, where attackers send an email that appears to be from a trusted source, such as a bank, a social media platform, or an e-commerce site.

The email will usually contain a call to action, such as "verify your account" or "reset your password," which directs the user to a fake website that looks like the legitimate one. The phony website will then prompt the user to enter their login credentials or other sensitive information, which the attacker can use for malicious purposes.

Best Practices to Decrease the Success of Phishing Attacks

  1. Be wary of suspicious emails: The first line of defense against phishing attacks is to be mindful of suspicious emails. Look for red flags, such as misspellings, incorrect grammar, or an urgent tone. Do not click on any links or download any attachments from suspicious emails.
  2. Verify the sender: Verify the sender's email address by hovering over the sender's name in the email or by checking the sender's email address in the email header. If the sender's email address looks suspicious or differs from what you expected, do not click on links or download any attachments.
  3. Use multi-factor authentication: Multi-factor authentication (MFA) adds an extra layer of security to your account by requiring a second form of authentication, such as a code sent to your phone or an authentication app. Enable MFA on all your accounts to protect them from phishing attacks.
  4. Keep your software up to date: Phishing attacks often exploit vulnerabilities in outdated software. Keep your software up to date to protect yourself from these attacks.
  5. Educate yourself and others: Educate yourself and others about phishing attacks and how to recognize them. Spread awareness about the dangers of phishing and encourage others to follow best practices.


Phishing attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and it is vital to stay vigilant and follow best practices to protect yourself from them. By being wary of suspicious emails, verifying the sender, using multi-factor authentication, keeping your software up to date, and educating yourself and others, you can decrease the success of phishing attacks and keep your personal information safe.

Ever wonder how your organization would perform during a phishing exercise? Our team at Telivy can assist you with an assessment and education on best practices to help address phishing. If you are interested in a demo of how our services can help you manage this concern and many more, please email support@telivy.com, and we will reach out to schedule some time with you!


FBI. (2021). Internet Crime Report 2020. https://www.ic3.gov/Media/PDF/AnnualReport/2020_IC3Report.pdf

NortonLifeLock. (2021). What is phishing? How this cyber attack works and how to prevent it. https://us.norton.com/internetsecurity-online-scams-what-is-phishing.html

Trend Micro. (2021). Phishing. https://www.trendmicro.com/vinfo/us/security/definition/phishing

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