March 15 2013.

According to web company PhishMe, phishing messages continue to plague computer users, with an average of six messages received every day. A poll of 1000 office workers found that 60 per cent of people fall for the messages.

Spear phishing is the preferred method of choice for criminals if they want to get inside an organisation. Some employees falsely believe that their role isn't important enough for a hacker to attempt to spear phish them. If the attacker's main goal is to simply obtain access to an internal network, they won't discriminate. Everyone is a potential target. Their methods are increasingly more sophisticated and use social media to tailor-make emails that trick people into opening them.

However, it's a different case when it comes to people protecting their own data on their mobile devices or home computers, experience shows that people are far more likely to be on their guard when looking at emails at home because they personally have far more to lose than at work.

Recent research has found that phishing campaigns were particularly rampant on social networks. A number of social network-based cyber-crime attacks included phishing messages on Twitter and Facebook, as well as malicious spam messages disguised as event invites on LinkedIn.

Christopher Boyd, senior threat researcher at GFI Software, said: "More and more young people entering the workforce think of social networking as a standard part of everyday life. By focusing their efforts on these sites, cyber criminals can increase their chances of fooling a larger number of users to unknowingly download malware onto their PCs and mobile devices. As a result, these users end up providing social network account information that can be used to reach even more potential victims."

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