Gone Phishing? Well, This May be the Worst One Yet

Fishing or phishing

Phishing scams give fishing a bad name.

Phishing is not the pastoral relaxation that it used to be.

No, phishing has become one of the top weapons in the arsenal of those who’d like to steal your time, your energy, your money, and/or your identity

Phishing scam and Google

Last week a clever Google Docs phishing scam caught lots of folks off-guard. Here’s how they described it on Gizmodo:

On Wednesday afternoon, countless unsuspecting email users—including reporters from BuzzFeed, Hearst, New York Magazine, Vice, as well as your friends here at Gizmodo Media—received some seemingly legit invites to view a Google Docs file. The email doesn’t look quite right, but anyone who clicks through arrives at a login screen that looks almost indistinguishable from the same screen you’d see if someone actually invited you to a Google Doc. It’s the one with a list of your Google Accounts, and it even matches Google’s recent redesign.

The good news is that Google shut down this attack very quickly, once it was discovered.

The bad news is that thousands upon thousands of people fell for it in the 30-so minutes that it was ‘alive.’

Better safe than sorry

So what can you do to protect yourself? Well, here are some easy, common sense steps to take:

  • Check links before you click them.
  • If they are embedded, hover over them to take a look. In this case, the googledocs.g-docs.win URL would have probably looked suspicious to you.
  • Remember, especially if you’re getting something from “Google” that you’ve probably already given Google permission to access your account. So, being asked to do it again should set off some alarms.
  • As a general rule of thumb, DON’T click links unless you’ve asked for them or are sure they are from a reputable source.

Security Check-up

If, after this recent event, you’re concerned about the security of your Google account, you can run their security check-up.

Use it to:

  • Check devices connected to your account,
  • Disable access for apps that worry you,
  • Check the permissions that are set up for your account, and
  • Check the passwords for your connected apps.

Now that you’re safe, how will you use your new-found time?

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