Can You Spot When You’re Being Phished?

Maybe the better question is: “Agency owners, how sure are you that your staff can spot a phishing email in their inbox?”

phishing emails

Phishing attacks continue to be a genuine problem for all organizations both large and small. Insurance agencies are not immune.

It can be harder than you think to identify a phishing email. Phishing is an attempt to trick the email recipient into giving up personal information by pretending to be someone you know. The real question then becomes, “Can you tell a fake email from a real email?”

Phishing is bad, but it’s not always easy to determine what might be a sketchy email and what might be a legitimate one. To help, Alphabet (Google’s parent company) subsidiary Jigsaw has made a quiz to help teach people how to spot malicious emails better.

Google’s Phishing Quiz

The Google quiz walks you through eight emails—some phishing, some real. Each of the emails included have been inspired by real-life phishing scams. When starting the quiz, you add a fake name and email to make the examples more realistic. None of this information is stored or leaves the site.

During the quiz, you can mouse over emails and links as you try to figure out which ones are the real deal.

The quiz probably won’t be too challenging for those of you who keep up on this threat. However, the quiz can still get pretty tricky.

According to Google, one example is based on a legitimate Google security alert that appeared to be a phishing attack, while another was inspired by the email that Russian hackers used to dupe John Podesta to get access to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. No one is immune from getting caught.

I was fooled by one of the eight emails in the test.

Fortunately, you can learn from your mistakes. After each question, you are provided tips on what you should look out for, including the smoking gun that should’ve tipped you off that an email was not legitimate.

Following are some resources that will help you and your fellow staff members pay attention to every email you receive.

You can click here take the Google Phishing Quiz.

NPR Planet Money Podcast: Episode 886: The Price of a Hack — This is an excellent show that talks about the emotional and financial hardships when a phishing attack is successful. It also has some good tips.

ACT Agency Cyber Guide 2.0 — Newly updated, this guide is specific for insurance agencies.

What steps do you take to keep vigilant when training employees on cyber security?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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2 thoughts on “Can You Spot When You’re Being Phished?

  1. Steve thanks for sharing and I plan on sending to all my employees. We are actually putting in place shortly some phishing tests to see how our employees really do. Maybe I can share results at the NetVU Accelerate convention in May.