What is the “Google Docs Phishing Scam?”
When we use Google, we often associate the term as a trusted resource. In fact, their services such as Google Docs, Google Slides, Google Sheets, and even Google Forms, are an affordable and easily accessible option, but never did we realize that it is also an opportunity to be scammed. Unfortunately, cyber criminals have been becoming more and more creative throughout the years, therefore creating a sophisticated phishing scam known as the “Google Docs Phishing Scam.”
But what is the “Google Docs Phishing Scam” and what exactly happens? According to research at Avanan, cyber criminals will begin the scam with an email that is sent from a known email address. The email will then contain a text with an “important document” link and once clicked, will take the user to a Google Docs login page. However, the Google Docs login page is extremely well-crafted, with a Google Spokesperson stating that over 1 million users were affected by the scam the year of the attack. Once the user has logged into the fake page, the cyber criminal will now have access to the user’s account. It is important to take note that the “Google Docs Phishing Scam” is extremely well made, making the scam almost undetectable as it is usually hosted on a Google server with a URL that is almost identical to the Google Docs URL.
Fortunately, there are many ways to be vigilant without the need to be tech-savvy in order to protect your private information. As we are living in a digital world with cyber criminals that are almost on the same level as security developments, we can never be too careful. We are all vulnerable in one way or another, so it is recommended to follow these three simple steps:
- Install a Security Software
- Confirm/Verify URL Addresses
- Ignore Suspicious Emails
Lastly, it’s important to take advantage of tools that protect ourselves from cyber criminals such as the Google Chrome extension called the “Password Alert.” When using this Google tool, you will receive an alert every time you type in your Google credentials on any page that isn’t officially Google’s. If you happen to stumble upon a page that looks very realistic, you will receive a notification from Password Alert to change your credentials the moment you make the mistake and secure your account.
At the end of the day, we must keep an eye out on certain phishing scams, especially those that use companies that we trust, such as Google, as the face of their scam. As we encounter more and more malicious cyber criminals, we need to step it up and be aware of their new tactics.
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