Spear Phishing

Criminals are Targeting You and the Biz

Criminals are targeting you and all members of the business community with phishing schemes to trick you into revealing your personal information and passwords.

What's at Risk?

  • Access to your business accounts and records
  • Sensitive business specific data and records 
  • Private personal information
  • Sensitive personal data

What is Phishing?

  • A technique criminals use to try to trick you out of information.
  • Criminals send you email directing you to websites that ask for your password as verification of some sort.
  • They disguise themselves as something or someone you trust—a bank or a computing help desk.
  • They threaten to cut off your access unless you give them your password.
  • Often you can tell that phishing emails and websites are suspicious because of misspelled words, bad grammar, and other clues.

What is Spear Phishing?

  • A more targeted version of phishing.
  • Universities and small businesses are current targets.
  • Criminals disguise their messages and websites to look like official messages and websites.
  • It's harder to recognize that the emails and websites are the work of criminals because they closely mimic the look of legitimate emails and websites.

See Cofense Awareness Presentation: Spear Phishing 101 for more information. (Download presentation)


Learn to Recognize Phrases that Sound Phishy

Criminals urge you to act quickly, so you don't have time to think. They say things like this:

  • Validate, verify, update your account!
  • Your email is full!
  • Your account will be deleted!

Learn to Recognize Phishy Links

  • Use your mouse to hover over the link in an email message to see the actual URL (the web address) you are being directed to.
  • Look at the URL.  Does the URL make sense or is it redirecting you to a random address?
  • Note the https at the beginning. The "s" is used for secure connections.
  • Note the entire URL. Criminals may use pieces of that URL, but not the exact thing.

If You Aren't Sure, Check with the Experts

Key Points to Remember

  • Use caution with emails asking you for personal information.
  • Be suspicious of any request for personal information.
  • Verify that the request is legitimate before you provide any information.
  • Do not send personal information via email.



1122 College Drive
PO Box 968
Clarendon, Texas 79226
(806) 874-3571

Great care has been taken in producing this compilation of resources. Citations are given as possible, but please know that this piece of work is from a collection of extraordinary minds.