How to Recognise and Report Phishing Attacks

In the digital age, where our lives are intricately connected to the internet, phishing attacks have become an ever-present threat. These deceptive attempts to obtain sensitive information pose a significant risk to individuals and organisations alike. Recognising and reporting phishing attacks is a crucial skill that can protect us from falling victim to cybercriminals. In this blog post, we will explore the common signs of phishing attacks, discuss preventive measures to stay safe online, and provide practical tips for reporting such incidents. By raising awareness and taking proactive steps, we can fortify our digital defences and navigate the online world with confidence.

Red Flags

There are common red flags that can help us identify these malicious attempts before falling into their traps.

  1. One major indicator is suspicious email addresses or URLs. Phishing emails often come from unrecognised or misspelled addresses, or they may contain unusual domain extensions.
  2. Another red flag is poor grammar and spelling mistakes in the email or website content. Legitimate organisations typically maintain a high standard of communication, so grammatical errors can raise suspicion.
  3. Additionally, urgency and pressure tactics are commonly employed by phishers to manipulate victims. If an email or message urges you to take immediate action or threatens dire consequences, it’s essential to exercise caution.


By familiarising ourselves with these red flags, we can enhance our ability to spot phishing attacks and protect our sensitive information.

How to Avoid Phishing Attacks

By following a few key practices, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to phishing attacks.

  1. Be cautious with email and messages. Verify the sender’s address and scrutinise any suspicious links or attachments before clicking on them.
  2. Strengthen your passwords and enable multi-factor authentication whenever possible. This adds an extra layer of security, making it harder for attackers to gain unauthorised access to your accounts.
  3. Stay up to date with security updates and patches for your operating system, web browsers, and applications. These updates often contain fixes for known vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can exploit.
  4. Invest in a reliable and updated antivirus software that can detect and block phishing attempts.

By implementing these preventive measures and staying vigilant, you can safeguard your personal and financial information from phishing attacks.


How to Report

Reporting phishing attempts is crucial not only for your own protection but also for the wider community. If you encounter a phishing attack, there are several steps you can take to report it effectively.

  1. Report the email directly to your provider, such as Gmail or Outlook. They provide a simple step-by-step instruction on how to report phishing attempts which helps their back-end teams to prevent and stop future attacks.
  2. Notify the organisation being impersonated in the attack. Most reputable companies have dedicated email addresses or online forms where you can report phishing attempts. They can take action to mitigate the damage and alert their customers.
  3. Lastly, report the incident to Australian Cyber Security Centre using their online form. By reporting phishing attempts, you not only contribute to the fight against cybercrime but also help protect others from falling victim to similar attacks.


By being vigilant and aware of common red flags, we can spot phishing attempts before they compromise our sensitive information. Equally important is the proactive step of reporting these incidents – by doing so, we contribute to the collective effort of combating cybercrime. Together, we can create a safer online environment and protect ourselves and others from the malicious intentions of cybercriminals. Remember, staying informed, staying alert, and taking action are key in the ongoing battle against phishing attacks.

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