Hook, Line, and Sinker: How to Spot Phishing Like a Pro

According to a recent survey, almost 40% of small businesses in the UK report being the victims of cyber attacks each year. Of these cyber attacks, more than 80% are phishing scams.

You should do whatever it takes to prevent phishing scams from negatively impacting your company. This will start with you learning about the different types of phishing attacks that exist.

You should also teach your employees about phishing scams and make sure they’re ready to stop a phishing attack from taking place. It’ll make your entire company safer when it comes to cyber attacks.

Here are some of the most common types of phishing attacks and what you can do to spot them.

Spear Phishing

Of all the types of phishing attacks on this list, this one is probably the simplest and most straightforward. But it’s also one of the phishing scams that people tend to fall victim to most often without thinking twice about it.

During a spear phishing attack, one or more of your employees will receive an email that will ask them to either download a file or click on a link. When they do, they’ll invite malware onto their computer and into your system. It can then wreak havoc on your company as a whole.

You should train your employees on how to spot spear phishing attempts. These types of phishing scams can strike quickly if those within your company aren’t careful.

The National Cyber Security Centre recently warned UK businesses of spear phishing attacks originating from Russia and Iran. They should be on your company’s radar.

Email Phishing

Email phishing is a lot like spear phishing in that it will involve your employees receiving emails with files to download or links to click. The big difference between these two types of phishing attacks is that email phishing will involve mass emails going out and hitting more of your employees’ inboxes.

The good news is that there is anti-phishing technology that can be used to stop email phishing attempts. But one of these attempts might slip past this technology every so often and cause complications.

Just like with spear phishing, you should train your employees on how to spot email phishing attempts. You should also tell them to always think twice before downloading a file or clicking on a link from someone they might not know.

Clone Phishing

Clone phishing is one of the scariest types of phishing attacks because it isn’t always easy to identify a phishing attack when it’s used. It involves an attacker using an existing email to try to phish those who work for your company.

The problem with this type of phishing attack is that it’s going to look very convincing. The emails that your employees receive during a clone phishing attack might look just like the emails they would normally get. It can make it difficult for you to train your employees not to open them.

You can, however, stop clone phishing attacks from taking a toll on your company by investing in anti-phishing software that can spot them. This software should help your employees make good decisions about opening up emails and clicking on links in them even when they appear to be from trusted sources.

Credential Phishing

If a prompt popped up on your employees’ screens asking them to input their login credentials, what would they do? Ideally, they would report this to your company’s IT team to make sure it’s legit.

But unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. It’s why some companies will fall for credential phishing attacks.

These attacks take place when those who work for a company start inputting their login credentials into prompts that aren’t legit. It can lead to a company’s internal system being exposed and confidential data falling into the wrong hands.

You should ask your employees to please report any unexpected prompts on their various devices that ask for their login credentials. It might help stop these credentials from getting stolen by attackers.


Email phishing scams have become so common over the years that many of them have stopped working. It’s forced those who try to pull these types of phishing scams to get a little more creative.

Some of them have responded by taking part in what is called “smishing.” It’s just like email phishing except that it involves trying to get people to click links through text messages.

If your company provides cell phones to your employees that are utilized for work purposes, you should talk to them about smishing and advise them not to click on links in any text messages from unknown senders.

Image Phishing

In an effort to deceive those who might be too smart to fall for other types of phishing scams, some attackers have started to participate in image phishing. This type of phishing involves sending images that people can click on through emails as opposed to links.

Many people have been taught not to click on links, but they haven’t always been advised not to click on images. Some will even accidentally click on these images in an email without thinking twice.

You should discuss image phishing with your employees and ask them to send any potential image phishing attempts to your IT team.

Pop-Up Phishing

Most companies have put pop-up blockers into place to stop pop-ups from appearing on their employees’ computer screens. But it isn’t impossible for those who launch pop-up phishing attacks to get around these blockers.

You should talk to your employees about not clicking on any pop-ups that might appear on the screens of their devices. If they do, it could expose your company to malware.

Avoid These Types of Phishing Attacks at All Costs

There are so many types of phishing attacks that take place these days. It can be difficult for your company to keep up with all of them.

But you should make an effort to teach your employees how to stop phishing attacks in their tracks. You should also invest in the latest anti-phishing technology to ensure that you’re able to eliminate as many phishing attacks as you can automatically.

SYTECH can provide you with many of the cyber services you’ll need to keep your company safe. Contact us today to get more information on them.


The Threat of Covert Spying: Understanding and Protecting Yourself

James Bond made it look cool. From fancy devices and trinkets, he got the intel with tracker devices and hidden cameras. He used it to catch the bad guy. Yet what if the threat of covert spying wasn’t in the interest of government security or gathering intelligence, as James Bond made us believe? The threat of secret surveillance is increasingly used for nefarious reasons. Even ones that put people in danger and are a great invasion of privacy.

So, how is this threat of covert spying happening? What can you do to ensure you aren’t a victim? Read on to learn more.

What Is Covert Surveillance?

Let’s start with a common understanding of covert surveillance or clandestine surveillance. As the name suggests, this type of surveillance gets executed where the person or activity being surveilled is done in secret. It’s a calculated action done secretly to watch or gather information about or from someone unknowingly. Sometimes this covert surveillance gets done by a person who’s nearby. Other times it’s executed through a device, and the person watches or gathers information from a distance.

Eavesdropping, Spying, Snooping, How It’s Done

The average person doesn’t have access to James Bond’s arsenal of secret gadgets and tools. Yet, it’s become easier for those who want information secretly to get it in today’s tech-driven world. 

So, how is eavesdropping, spying, and snooping done in today’s world? With many hidden devices, including:

  • Remote cameras
  • Hidden listening devices
  • Tracking devices, like GPS tracking
  • Apple Air tags, used for tracking
  • Drone surveillance
  • Hidden data readers 

While these devices are secret, how do you know if someone is trying to spy on you? It’s important to be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to the most minor clues that tell you someone has been in your space. 

Types of Clandestine Surveillance

So, what’s being used to execute this invasion of privacy? Let’s take a closer look at some types of devices used to gather clandestine surveillance. 

Hidden Cameras

You know that surveillance cameras are everywhere as you go about your daily life. From parking lots to common business areas, security is watching. But where are the hidden cameras you aren’t supposed to know about?

Hidden cameras can be nearly anywhere. The technology is so advanced that cameras can be the size of a pinhead. These can be hidden in almost any object around a room. 

Be most worried about hidden cameras in areas like bathrooms and bedrooms, where your privacy is most at risk.

Tracker Devices

Tracking devices allow someone to know your whereabouts at all times. Often cell phones now carry tracking technology, so your whereabouts are available to anyone with your cell information. 

Unwanted tracking can be achieved by adding a secret GPS device to your transportation. Apple Air tags are meant for luggage, yet are the same type of tracking device that could be hidden in a bag or clothing. 

Covert Surveillance

Other types of covert surveillance include using drones to get a birdseye view to gather information. 

Secret devices hidden in card readers to steal credit card information are a huge problem for retailers constantly working to protect their data. 

When Should You Be Most Worried About Unwanted Surveillance?

You have some understanding of the types of threats that could be used for unwanted surveillance. You know how that surveillance might be attempted. Let’s consider where you’re likely most at risk for the potential for unwanted surveillance. 

Businesses Managers and Owners

If you’re a James Bond movie buff, you will likely have seen a few films involving corporate espionage and insider trading. 

You’re at risk if you own or run a business with valuable information. Every employer wants to trust the people who work for them. Yet, one disgruntled worker could wreak havoc with some covert spying. 

Gathering and using the information to start a new business using your information or selling to the competition could profoundly damage any business. 

If you’ve created a product or service, businesses must also protect their intellectual property. Covert spying could take your most valuable assets from you.

School Environments

Most people want to believe they send their children to school where they are supervised and taught by well-intentioned individuals. Sadly, in today’s world, that isn’t always the case. 

There are too many news stories of secret cameras in schools and school personnel using surveillance as sexual predators. This could include teachers, coaches, and school support staff. If your child suspects anything or you get an uncomfortable feeling, trust it and investigate.

Hotels and Rental Accommodations

You’ve heard plenty of stories about when people do a property share through a business like Airbnb or VRBO, only to find they’ve been under surveillance while staying in the property. 

This is a massive invasion of privacy, even if they aren’t the property owner. It’s important to learn about hidden cameras and listening devices and learn how to find a hidden camera when you’re on or staying at someone else’s property.

Retail Environments

You also face some potential unwanted surveillance risks when you’re out shopping. Be very aware of dressing rooms and their set-up. Some people have chosen to avoid them together to avoid the risk of clandestine cameras watching while trying on clothes. 

Other retail risks include cameras working on getting PINs from debit cards or tracking devices in card readers to steal customer information.

Be aware of the cybersecurity measures used by the places where you spend your money. You should expect any business to be working to protect your data. 

Understanding the Threat of Covert Spying

Unfortunately, the threat of covert spying is real. The more aware you are of the risks, the better you can work to protect yourself. 

If you’re worried someone is attempting to spy on you covertly, it might be time to call in the professionals for an assessment. Contact us for help with the digital forensics you need to protect yourself.