spear phishing

What is spear phishing?

If phishing is a large fishing trawler heaving out a net and hoping to catch…something, spear phishing is an experienced diver, homing in on an individual target. Spear phishing is a targeted phishing attack that uses social engineering techniques in a highly personalised way.

While spear phishing attacks often arrive via email, cybercriminals are now also using text messages, social media, instant messaging or phone calls. Attackers first research their targets via sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn. They then use the specific information gleaned to create legitimate-looking requests for the user to provide information, to click a link, or even to send money or purchase gift cards. Because of the personalised nature of these messages, people often let their guard down and don’t think twice before clicking a link or downloading an attachment. Which can, of course, lead to serious consequences, including personal data theft, the accessing of financial accounts or a malware infection.

Possible spear-phishing-attempt red flags

  • An unusual sense of urgency, often attempting to panic the recipient.
  • Links, email addresses or domains that don’t match or that contain irregularities – although anomalies in these areas are more sophisticated than they once were and have become harder to spot. Myfaveshirtshop.com may become Myfaveshirt.com, for instance. Easy to miss if you’re in a hurry!
  • Spelling or grammar mistakes – again, targeted phishing campaigns are becoming increasingly sophisticated, but scammers do still make mistakes!
  • Messages that include unsolicited attachments or that ask you to share personal, financial or account login information. Massive red flag!

Tips for avoiding spear-phishing scams

Think first!

To avoid becoming a spear-phishing victim, it pays to think with your head, not your adrenaline! Scammers often try to get victims to act before they really have time to think things through. If something is really so urgent that it must happen NOW, is it really legitimate?

Reminder: Take a step back. Don’t react emotionally. Inspect communications objectively. Always be a little bit suspicious!

Get a second opinion

Asking a colleague or a member of your business’ IT team not only runs a second eye over the message in question, but it also stops you from reacting straight away.

Stay updated

Ensure that cybersecurity solutions, VPNs, remote services and multifactor authentication (MFA) options are up to date, fully patched and properly configured and integrated. You can also block threats that arrive via email using hosted email security and anti spam protection.

Spear phishing prevention with Geelong Technology Group

When it comes to phishing attacks, one of the best methods of prevention is education. Security awareness training that includes learning to recognise the basic tactics used by cybercriminals is an integral component of overall cybersecurity.

Did you know that 91% of cyber breaches start with a phishing attack?

Geelong Technology Group offers complete security awareness training solutions for small businesses, with an industry-leading phishing simulator. From device security to advice on remote working to engaging online training that will increase employee compliance and drastically reduce the likelihood of human error, we’re here to help.


Start reducing your human cyber risk and get started today with our online demo or drop us a line to find out more:

☎️ 1300 GET GTG (1300 438 484)

📧 support@geelongtechnology.com.au


Geelong Technology Group: providing services and local support to businesses in Geelong, Ocean Grove, Barwon Heads, Torquay, Bellarine Peninsula, Surf Coast, Golden Plains, Colac, Warrnambool and beyond.

two monitors

Three productivity benefits of two computer monitors

Three productivity benefits of two computer monitors

Is your business after a low-cost, high-reward tech-infrastructure improvement? Then may we suggest adding a second monitor to your employee workstations! Research has shown that this simple and relatively inexpensive ‘hack’ can increase user productivity by over 40%. As well as in-office solutions, we also recommend this productivity-boosting addition for the vast now-working-from-home workforce. 

But what is it that makes two monitors better than one?

A dual-monitor setup saves time on side-by-side tasks

Referencing data from a website while editing a spreadsheet or document? Working on a remote desktop and still need your email open? Sourcing images from multiple libraries to add to a presentation? Tasks such as these, that require various documents, programs and/or workspaces, are simplified with two (or more) screens. Rather than switching between windows on one screen, having multiple screens allows for a number of full-size applications to be open at once, allowing for a natural flow of concentration.

If you need numbers to back up the narrative, a global survey of 17,000 knowledge workers found that 68% of respondents spent at least 30 minutes a day switching between applications – multiply that by your workforce and you’ve got some serious time to make up!

Multiple monitors increase workspace

Laying your paperwork out on a large desk is much easier than trying to marshal it next to the cereal bowls on the coffee table. So too with screen space – the more you have, the easier it is to get organised and to feel in control. Users can also deliberately divide tasks between the two screens for further efficiency gains – using one screen for research and the other for data entry, for instance. Finally, more workspace means that finding information is easier and faster, with more content open and displayed simultaneously.

A second monitor improves online meetings

Zoom meetings have become de rigueur for many companies. And if you’re in a meeting on one screen, but also need to access your notes, there are few things handier than a second screen! And if you’re sharing your screen for the meeting, having an additional display allows you to keep ‘personal’ items open, such as emails or sensitive statistics, without that information also being shared.

Ready to level up? Contact Geelong’s tech hardware specialists

Serving Geelong, Ocean Grove, the Bellarine, the Surf Coast and beyond, Geelong Technology Group is here to help with all of your technology needs. We stock products from Apple, Acer, Asus, HP and more, so if you’re now in the market for a second screen for yourself or for every employee across your business, we can get you working twice as smart in no time at all. Give us a call, send through an email or stop by the showroom today!


📞 1300 GET GTG (1300 438 484)

📧 support@geelongtechnology.com.au

📍 166 Francis St, Belmont

cloud based services

Top Five Reasons to Use the Cloud

From working in our pyjamas to ordering UberEats three meals a day, 2020 was a very strange year of challenges, surprises and surprising business pivots. One of those pivots was the increased global uptake of cloud-based computing and productivity improvements. By embracing the cloud, SMBs are discovering its significant benefits, and even finding that it is now critical to their business’ ongoing success.

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