Phishing, the devil’s in the details!
Released October 2023
The Centre for Cybersecurity Belgium (CCB), Febelfin and the Cyber Security Coalition will launch a striking awareness campaign about phishing: Phishing: The devil’s in the details! This type of online scam is on the rise and continues to claim countless victims, both private individuals and companies and organisations. Install the Safeonweb browser extension and never get caught out again.
Phishing in numbers
- A total of 39.8 million EUR was stolen as a result of phishing in 2022, which is more than last year (2021: 25 million EUR). This is mainly due to the huge increase in the number of phishing messages sent.
- 69% of Belgians have received at least one phishing message in the past 6 months (source: Febelfin together with IndiVille, March 2023)
- 8% of Belgians have never heard of phishing. The older age group scores better in this respect, as 4% have never heard of phishing, which is an improvement from 2022 (7%). Although there is a slight improvement from 2021 (24%) and 2022 (30%), the number of young people who are unfamiliar with phishing is still too high (23%).
- 8% of Belgians say they have been victims of phishing. Among young people, this percentage is higher at 12%.
- Only 62% of Belgians who fell victim to phishing knew what steps to take.
Why can’t we just get rid of phishing?
Phishing is not a new phenomenon. Phishing has always been around. Fraudsters try to get their hands on your (bank) details through various channels such as e-mail, phone, letter, text message, social media or WhatsApp. They try to scam people by posing as trustworthy organisations or institutions (banks, government departments, utility companies, etc.).
It’s in our human nature to be curious or get frightened. We simply cannot resist an attractive offer. Phishers capitalise on this. They try to approach and convince their victims through all kinds of excuses. This is called social engineering. Phishing messages are also increasingly difficult to detect: they rarely contain spelling mistakes anymore, are professionally formatted, refer to very convincing looking websites, etc. The cybercriminals have become real professionals. The future does not really look very bright. AI opens up many new positive prospects, but scammers will also be only too happy to use various applications to send persuasive, attractive and personalised messages. – Miguel De Bruycker, General Director Centre pour la cybersécurité Belgique
Phishing: The devil’s in the details!
However, it is not impossible to identify phishing messages and phishing websites. The devil’s in the details. To make sure you never click on a link leading to scam website, you should learn to read the website’s URL. How?
Hover your mouse over the link. If the domain name, i.e., the word before .be, .com, .eu, .org, etc. and before the very first slash “/” really is the name of the organisation you are looking for, then you can trust the website. But if you see something else there, an odd combination, or the domain you expect but with a slight difference, be careful!
A new tool to identify suspicious websites
As it is still very difficult for many people to properly read and understand a URL, we are launching a new tool: the Safeonweb Browser extension, which will help you determine the reliability of any website you visit. The extension assigns a trust level to each website: high, medium or low. This trust level is based on known factors about the website’s domain, its owner and the certification level obtained from a certification authority.
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