Phishing is a form of identity theft that is popular with hackers. Phishing attempts seek to steal your personal data, most commonly passwords and banking information, including credit and debit card details.
Hackers do this by sending fraudulent emails or directing users to websites that have specifically been set up to ‘harvest’ your personal information. The emails and websites are designed to look legitimate, that is, from organisations that you know and trust, whether it’s an online bank or social network.
Most often an email sends you to a website that will request your personal details. However, when you enter your data, it’s actually going directly to the hackers who will use it to try and access your accounts whether it’s a bank, social network or some other. Some of the sites that are most commonly ‘spoofed’- that is imitated- include PayPal, financial institutions, Yahoo and eBay.