Forget, for a moment, about other forms of cybersecurity threats such as inadequate antivirus protection or using weak passwords. This week, let’s focus on phishing, the #1 cybersecurity culprit. Statistics show that phishing accounts for more than 80% of IT security incidents. And as we enter the third week of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, take a look at the steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim of this ever-present danger.





Just so we are all on the same page, phishing is a form of cybercrime in which hackers use social engineering to gain access to data, paralyze IT systems, or commit identity theft. Typically, users receive a fraudulent message in the form of an email, text message or a chat box designed to trick the human victim into disclosing sensitive information. When the user opens the email, clicks on a malicious link or downloads a suspicious attachment, that’s when the trouble begins – and doesn’t stop. Clicking or downloading usually means that venomous software is installed on a computer or a network, rendering it inactive via ransomware or enabling the cybercrook to steal and share private information.




From 2017 to 2020, incidents of phishing in global business increased almost exponentially, from 75% to 86%, with cybercriminals making more than $1.5 trillion every year. That in itself should provide the answer as to why this illicit type of social engineering is the top dog when it comes to cybercrime. Email and clone phishing, along with domain spoofing, will have a far-reaching and potentially long-term negative impact on any business, sometimes with irreparable repercussions. Consequences of the cyberattack, particularly if the threat persists for an extended period, include loss of money, loss of intellectual property, damage to reputation, and disruption of operational activities. The good news is that you don’t need to fall prey to a phisher.




Here are 5 straightforward tips for staying out of harm’s way:


  • recognize and identify a scam
  • don’t click on a link or download an attachment – you cannot undo what has been done
  • get free anti-phishing toolbars
  • change your passwords regularly and use a password manager
  • only give out the minimum information – remember that even spoof domains are designed to look secure




Zhero is an expert in the fields of professional business IT, cybersecurity and risk mitigation. We have tried-and-tested solutions that will ensure that your IT remains intact and never falls prey to phishing. Contact Zhero now for all your cybersecurity needs. Let’s go phishing together.