E-mail is one of the primary ways we communicate. We not only use it every day for work, but also to stay in touch with our friends and family. In addition, e-mail is how companies provide many products or services, such as requests and confirmation of payment processes or updates to our bank account. Since so many people around the world depend on e-mail, it has also become one of the primary methods cyber criminals use to attack others. In this newsletter we explain these dangers and steps you can take to protect yourself and the business.


Phishing is one of the most common e-mail based attacks. It uses social engineering, a technique where cyber attackers attempt to fool you into taking an action. Phishing was a term originally used to describe an attack designed to steal your online banking login details. However, the term has evolved and now refers to almost any cyber-attack sent by e-mail. A phishing attack begins with an e-mail pretending to be from someone or something you know or trust, such as a member of staff, customer, partner, your bank or your favourite online store.

These e-mails then try to entice you into taking an action, such as clicking on a link, opening an attachment, or responding to a message. Cyber criminals craft these convincing e-mails and then send them out to any number of people around the world. The criminals do not always have a specific target in mind, nor do they know exactly who will fall victim. They simply know the more e-mails they send out, the more people they may be able to fool.

Phishing attacks often have one of the following objectives:

  • Harvesting Information: The cyber attacker’s goal is to fool you into clicking on a link and taking you to a website that asks for your login and password or perhaps your favourite colour or mother’s maiden name. These websites may look legitimate with exactly the same look and feel of your online bank, but they are designed to steal information that could give them access to your online account.
  • Controlling your computer through malicious links: Once again, the cyber attacker’s goal is for you to click on a link. However, instead of harvesting your information, the goal is to infect your computer. If you click on the link, you are directed to a website that silently launches an attack against your browser, and, if successful, these cyber criminals have full control over your computer.
  • Controlling your computer through malicious attachments: These are phishing e-mails that have infected attachments, such as infected PDF files or Microsoft Office documents. If you open these attachments they attack your computer, and if successful, give the attacker complete control.

How can we help you?

Spiderweb Systems provide computer maintenance to businesses in Essex, London and the South East of England. We can resolve your IT Support issues quickly allowing you to spend less time on IT Support and more time on running your business!

If you would like us to help you with your IT issues please contact enquiries@spiderwebsystems.co.uk or call us on 01268 968539