What is the difference between spam, phishing and spoofing?

Mobile Networks - IT Support Manchester

It’s essential for businesses of all sizes, including small to medium sized businesses, that cyber security threats are understood, and action taken to protect your company and your data. But some of these threats can be complicated to understand and often the terms are used interchangeably, and incorrectly, which can be misleading. Here at Creative Network Solutions, we are Manchester’s leading IT support and network services experts. From secure remote access services to business VoIP, we are the team you can count on. As a result, we have produced this guide to everything you should know about the difference between spam, phishing and spoofing?

Understanding the difference between spam, phishing and spoofing

So how do these three things differ from each other and how are they similar? Well, lets look at the different terms:

  • Spam– Spam is a term used to describe the unwanted junk emails, instant messages, or social media messages sent out to a wholesale recipient list. These are not usually personalised to the recipient and tend to be sent for commercial purposes. Spam tends to be irritating and inconvenient and but it can also hide malicious links and content that can download viruses or malicious software onto your computer, and spread through the computer network. Using a spam filter on your email inbox is a good way to prevent spam from causing damage to you or your company.
  • Phishing- phishing is a specific form of unsolicited email which is designed to obtain personal information from the recipient and will often look like it has come from an official recognised source. This helps to build trust so that you are more likely to enter your details, such as user names, passwords and even bank details. By creating realistic looking emails, criminals are able to gather important information and then use this to enter online networks that would otherwise be secure, without the personal details they have gathered. This puts your finances at risk as well as all the private data you might have stored, and successful phishing can lead to further cyber security issues including ransomware.
  • Spoofing- spoofing is the term used to describe what happens directly after a successful phishing attempt. This is when the cyber criminal will use your personal information to “spoof” accounts with your details, and even to pretend to be you. This happens over the phone, or online, and with the personal information they have gleaned, the criminals can quite easily be believable in their role as you. This can lead to the changing of account details and being locked out of your own accounts, as well as finances being drained and personal data being leaked.

For more information or advice, about our services, including security, cloud data backup and more, why not get in touch with the team today, here at Creative Network Solutions.