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Gmail Redesign = New Spear-Phishing Threats

Gmail’s new redesign improves the security and formality of email messages while maintaining that content is kept private. The new confidential mode gives the option for users to securely send content through a web link rather than directly including it in the body of an email. Off the bat, the redesign’s timing is appropriate and seems to be a solution to phishing schemes, but there’s a concern that it will do the opposite.

 

With this new capability, cyber actors could utilize spear-phishing techniques by sending fake links to re-direct users to false portals to steal information or invisibly install spyware on their devices. Although this threat has always been present, Gmail’s redesign isn’t a promising solution to the phishing problem.

 

Protect yourself from phishing schemes by taking a few precautionary steps:

  • Understand that phishing schemes target everyone.

  • Beware of emails from addresses you do not recognize and when presented with a link, exercise proper precaution by checking its source and its purpose.

  • Periodically clean up your email and clear out your trash. If a bad actor gets hold of your account, they will most likely go to your inbox, outbox, and trash to perpetrate fraud and/or sell your information.

  • Review your email account on a regular basis – change your passwords every few months. Investing in a password manager that syncs with your personal accounts will protect your account by using multi-factor authentication for passwords.

Insite has gained a copy of what a true email with an embedded link should look like, contact us if you’d like to see it or have any questions. If you are a victim of identity theft, Insite can help mitigate the problem and help resolve it.

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September 12, 2019

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