Spear fishing is a sport for anglers in the warm, clear waters of the Caribbean. It's also the name for a serious identity theft crime. A spear phishing attack is a legitimate-looking email targeted to specific individuals and capable of fooling even the most sophisticated Internet users. Spear phishing emails contain a malicious attachment or link, that when opened installs malware and tries to gain access to your computer, the network it's connected to and all the data therein. To be clear, it's not just your personal data that is at risk. If you open a spear phishing email on your work computer, for instance, the entire company's IT infrastructure could be put at risk.


Spear phishing attacks routinely get past spam filters and anti-virus engines. It is best to deploy multiple anti-virus engines, file type verification or data sanitization to improve your protection and help defeat these heinous emails before they ever reach your inbox. But no security system is perfect. It is highly likely that you will find phishing emails in your inbox from time to time, no matter the degree of prevention. When you do encounter a suspicious email and you find yourself questioning its origin or its claims, delete it. If a person you do not know is writing to you and asking you to click a link or open a file, it's a good idea to ignore the request and mark the email as spam.


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