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Home » Blog » Cybersecurity Month EU | What is phishing?

Cybersecurity Month EU | What is phishing?

Phishing is a common form of internet fraud. Cybercriminals pose as reliable sources and send deceptive messages on behalf of these individuals or entities. In this way, criminals try to steal sensitive information from you, such as passwords and bank details.

Forms of Phishing

There are different forms of phishing. One of the most common forms of phishing is phishing via WhatsApp or SMS, also known as smishing. Cybercriminals send an SMS that often contains a link that you have to click, for example, to change your password or PIN code.

Email phishing is a form of phishing where cybercriminals send an email containing a link or attachment. For example, as soon as you open the link or attachment, malicious software (malware) will be installed on your device and steal your data. Criminals sell this data in exchange for money or try to log in somewhere with your username and password.

Vishing, a combination of voice and phishing, is a form of phishing that cybercriminals call you. Over the phone, they ask for your personal information, your login details, or to transfer money.

How can you recognize phishing?

Check the sender

Check the sender of the message. Often the e-mail address seems to come from a company or agency, but the e-mail address is often slightly different.

Check spelling

Check the spelling of the message. Many phishing messages are poorly written and contain many spelling mistakes.

High urgency

Phishing messages often have a high urgency. Criminals try to pressure you in the hope that you will act quickly and not realize that you are being scammed.

Impersonal message

Phishing messages are often impersonal because cybercriminals often do not have enough information to address you personally.

Check the link
Check a link in a message if you are not sure whether you can trust the link. By moving your mouse over the link, the fully written link will appear on the screen. This way you can see if it is a link from a reliable source.

You can also type a link in the search bar on the internet. If the link does not appear as a suggestion because only part of the link leads to the criminal’s desired destination, chances are the link is untrustworthy.

You can also check a link via Dr. Link Check. You can enter the link in the program, and you will then be shown whether or not it is safe to visit the web page.

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How can you protect yourself against phishing?

To better protect yourself against phishing, it is first of all wise to check messages for the above recognition points. This way you can discover for yourself whether or not it is wise to do what a message asks.

Do you want to protect yourself against malware that can end up on your device via phishing messages? Then we recommend installing an anti-malware program. If you accidentally clicked on the wrong phishing link or attachment, this program will stop the malware.

You can also use a password manager. This is a program in which all your passwords are stored, and will automatically fill in your passwords for you as soon as you want to log in somewhere. If there is a fake website, the password will not be entered.

Also important is multi-factor authentication (MFA). This is a method that requires you to take two or more steps to log in. If you use MFA, you log in to a website, but in addition to your username and password, you also have to enter a code that is sent separately to your phone, for example. In this way, a cybercriminal can do almost nothing with your login details.


By using a VPN, your data is encrypted so that cybercriminals cannot monitor your internet behavior. In this way, your personal data can be used less easily for phishing emails.

In addition to a VPN connection, you can use a Cyber ??Alarm at GOOSE VPN. This is an alarm that monitors your internet traffic and checks for malware. As soon as the alarm detects a malware, you will immediately receive a notification so that you can take action early.

Can’t wait to better protect yourself against phishing? Sign up now with GOOSE VPN with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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