FOX News: Interview About Phishing Emails

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Updated: Thursday, February 12 2015, 09:46 PM CST

IOWA CITY, IA (CBS2/FOX28)– Internet hackers are still after your computers…and your identity. With some big name businesses being hacked, employers are trying to find new ways to protect themselves.

Today a technology expert tells CBS 2/FOX 28 businesses are practicing security from the inside…out.

“My husband is more into computers and I remember calling him and saying, “I clicked on this, what happened?” says Amie Villarini of Iowa City.

Most of us have gotten those emails, a convincing and seemingly legitimate message with a link that could install a harmful virus to your computer or get you one step closer to giving away your personal information. It’s called phishing. Some businesses are hiring companies to send messages like those to their own employees.

“As businesses lately have become more aware of the various threats that are out there, what people realize is that the greatest vulnerability is just the human factor,” says Gregory P. Johnson of

The businesses see which employees bite the bait and use the fake phishing email as a learning opportunity to increase security.

“It’s a stress test of the business to see if that business has both the physical security, digital security and that critical third component, the human training,” he says.

“Seems like a smart thing to do. I mean, if it is going to happen, might as well make sure that it happens in a way you can control,” says University of Iowa Senior Christopher Wright.

Johnson says to be careful before clicking anything. What is the address of the email? Does what they are asking make sense? Are they asking for personal information?

“That’s really the best thing you can do is go to the site you know is official and log in and then see ‘Oh, is this really happening,’” he says.

Johnson says if you receive one of these emails at work, report it to your IT department. If it happens at home, you can report it through your antivirus software. If the email claims to be from a particular institution, send it to them so they are aware of it.

If you feel your computer has been negatively impacted by one of these emails, he suggests getting it checked out by an expert. Johnson also advises regular computer check-ups.



Source: Fox News, 12 February 2015