What is phishing?

Phishing is the art of tricking people into revealing personal information. Usernames, passwords, and credit card numbers are often targeted for phishing attacks, with the intent of taking over user accounts. 59% of phishing attacks are financially motivated.

Phishing by the numbers

Average time between cyber attacks
Records stolen every day from breaches
Total cost globally for cyber crime

Can you spot a phishing email?

Have you ever received an email that looked suspicious? Maybe an email asking you to verify your account, threatening to cut-off a service, or asking you to send money? If yes, then you are not alone. 97% of people are unable to identify a phishing email.

Common features of phishing emails

Too good to be true

Lucrative offers and eye-catching or attention-grabbing statements are designed to attract people’s attention.

Sense of urgency

A favorite tactic amongst cybercriminals is to ask you to act fast because the offers are only for a limited time.


A link may not be all it appears to be. Hovering over a link shows you the actual URL where you will be directed.


If you see an attachment in an email you were not expecting or that does not make sense, don’t open it!

Unusual sender

If anything seems out of the ordinary, unexpected or out of character, do not click or open an attachment.


Even if it looks exactly like a site you’ve been to before, it might be a malicious duplicate – especially if you’ve clicked a link to get there.

How phishing works

1. Cybercriminals plan

Cybercriminals choose attack targets, usually based on services, demographics, or any number of factors.

They create methods for tricking users into providing information they want to steal. They may use text messages, emails, and identical looking websites to trick users.

2. Attack begins

Successful phishing attacks use real information, seem like they’re coming from a real person or business, and create a sense of urgency to entice users to click.

The most successful attacks focus on tricking the user into sharing information for a delivery or signing into an account.

3. Tricked user logs in

Once users click on a link, they’re often directed to a fake website that looks identical to the real one – even the URL looks the same.

Once users enter their credentials on the fake site, cybercriminals immediately login to the real website with the username and password the user was just tricked into revealing.

4. Credentials stolen

Now the users’ credentials have been stolen, and are used to take over accounts. Attackers then use this information to commit fraud, hold information ransom, with the goal of financial gain.

Proven protection in the most challenging environments

Google: “We have had no reported or confirmed account takeovers since implementing security keys”

The YubiKey protects you

Physical security is hard to beat

When you login using a YubiKey, you’re required to give your explicit consent by touching or tapping the YubiKey itself.

Making you personally a part of the secure login process raises the security bar significantly.

The YubiKey isn’t fooled

Even if you are tricked, the YubiKey isn’t fooled. The YubiKey binds the user login to the original website’s URL. Only the real site can authenticate with the key.

That means that while a user may be tricked into thinking a website is real, the YubiKey won’t reveal your credentials.

Impersonation becomes harder

While, cybercriminals may get access to your username and password through phishing or data breaches, without the YubiKey they cannot login. Login requires the physical possession of the key.

By using the YubiKey, your presence becomes a critical part of the login process, significantly raising the security bar.

Hardware is better than text

Text messages used to verify your identity or reset your password can be intercepted by cybercriminals. The YubiKey cannot be intercepted remotely, since it is a physical key, just like your house key.

By using the YubiKey and its hardware-based authentication to prove it’s you, not even cybercriminals with your credentials can mimic your physical presence to login.

YubiKey is trusted by the world’s leading companies

“We’ve raised the standard of security for our employees. The YubiKey works seamlessly for people in their day-to-day workflow here at Google.”
“Facebook is using the YubiKey for securing its own employees, and have made secure login with FIDO U2F and YubiKeys available for all Facebook users”
“The YubiKey meets all our requirements thanks to its simplicity of use, its open algorithm and the available open-source software support.”

Phishing is on the rise

Phishing is on the rise with a 65% year over year increase in the number of phishing attacks. And, it works better than you think. Cybercriminals are getting better at slipping their phishing emails through spam filters and past anti-malware software. By using weak usernames and passwords, or vulnerable SMS-based two-factor authentication, users are vulnerable to account takeovers resulting from increasingly sophisticated phishing scams.

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