What are phishing emails and how can I protect myself against them?

Article author
Cogeco support
  • Updated

Phishing is a technique used to extort personal information such your passwords or credit card numbers.

The technique consists of pretending to represent organisations or companies you trust, and asking you to provide personal information yourself. For instance, a fake but convincing social network page (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) could appear. When you log in to that page, the cybercriminals can steal your credentials. With your username and password in hand, they could start sending unsolicited messages (spam) in your name.

Phishing is often done by e-mail to extort confidential information from Internet users. In such cases, an e-mail is sent informing you that you won a contest or that your account will be deactivated if you do not confirm your personal information quickly. The e-mail will contain a link to your bank, internet service provider or a reputable business, so you can claim the prize or reactivate your account. In reality, this link leads to a fake but convincing web page.

Please note that Cogeco will never ask you to confirm personal information by e-mail. Furthermore, Cogeco will never ask you to pay the shipping fees to receive a prize won as part of a contest or promotion.

IMPORTANT: Never click on a hyperlink or reply to an e-mail that asks you for personal information.

What are the signs of a phishing attempt? How do we unmask them? Look for:

  • Poor vocabulary
  • An e-mail sent by a service provider you do not know, or from a company with which you do not do business
  • An e-mail telling you your account has been deactivated
  • An e-mail asking you to confirm personal information quickly, and threatening to deactivate your account

Here’s an example of phishing on a webpage:

Phishing FAQ EN

The first line of defence against phishing is an anti-spam/anti-phishing filter. Cogeco Security Services, included with most of our Internet packages, protects you against phishing and other internet threats.

If you receive a suspicious email that seems to be from Cogeco, please forward it to: security@cogeco.net and delete the email after you have forwarded it.

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