What is Phishing and Why is it Bad?

Phishing is a term that refers to a digital attack that attempts to bait someone into a particular action. The connection to regular fishing (with an f) is straightforward: In real-life fishing, you bait the hook with a worm or lure in an attempt to convince a fish to bite. But in the phishing world, you’re the fish. Someone sends you digital bait, attempting to get you to bite (or, in this case, click). The goal of most phishing schemes is to steal your personal information (usually your username and password but sometimes other information like your social security number or bank details). The stolen details are then used or sold online for criminal activity. Fortunately, if you are using Microsoft Outlook, there’s an easy way for you to report phishing to your IT team!

What is the Difference Between Spam and Phishing

So what’s the difference between spam and phishing? Spam messages are unsolicited commercial messages for marketing purposes while phishing is done to defraud people and make them victims of cybercrimes. Hence, when we talk about spam vs phishing, the difference lies between the sender’s intentions and the messages’ contents.

Reporting Phishing Emails in Outlook Web

If you are suspecting that the message you are reading is a phishing attempt, you can easily report it using the “Report Phishing” button in Outlook.
Click on the report phishing button in Outlook
Click on the “Report Phishing’ button in the upper right corner of the email.
You can also report the email using the “three dots” menu and selecting Security Options > Mark as phishing:
Report Phishing Menu in Outlook Web
Select the “three dots” and select Security Options > Mark as phishing to report the email.
You will then get a pop-up asking to confirm. Press on the Report button to submit.
Confirm the report when prompted by Outlook
Click on the “Report” button to send the email to an administrator for review.

Wait for the Admin to Review your Report

Once you have filled your report, an administrator will review your email and let you know if the email is a phishing email. If clean, you can resume your correspondence. If not, the IT team will block the sender and warn other users not to click on any links. Reporting phishing is important! Just don’t delete the email, otherwise, others may fall prey to cybercriminals!