Google Cybersecurity Quiz Could Help Keep Your Email From Becoming Phishing Food

January 22, 2019, 11:06 PM UTC

Has one of your accounts been hacked lately? Your email? Your Instagram?

If so, you may have been the victim—and possibly an unwitting collaborator—in a phishing scam. Phishing is the most common form of cyber attack, and the goal of phishing emails is simple: to obtain your password and take over your account. Often, the only thing you have to do is click on an innocuous looking link or reply to what appears to be an email from a trusted contact.

To see how vulnerable you might be, Google has a new phishing quiz you can take to test how well you can recognize malicious emails. Released by Jigsaw, a subsidiary of Google parent company Alphabet Inc., the quiz displays several samples of common phishing techniques, such as using an hyperlink with a domain name that was disguised to look like a real web address, but actually leads to a phony site. The quiz trains test-takers in a number of quick, easy ways to be more cyber-secure, such as to hover a link in an email before clicking on it or check an email address against the name displayed as the supposed sender.

“We created this quiz based on the security trainings we’ve held with nearly 10,000 journalists, activists, and political leaders around the world from Ukraine to Syria to Ecuador,” writes Jigsaw product manager Justin Henck in a blog post about the quiz. “We’ve studied the latest techniques attackers use, and designed the quiz to teach people how to spot them.”

Phishing scams aren’t limited to email—there are phone-specific phishing scams too. But email scams are fairly common. In fact, 1% of all emails sent around the world are phishing expeditions.