What is the Difference Between Phishing vs. Spear Phishing?

Phishing attacks are one of the most common cyber crimes today. It has grown in popularity with phishing email campaigns, email spam, phishing websites, and malware. Phishing has evolved from email-based attacks to social engineering and malware-based attacks. Spear phishing emails are more targeted and specific compared to phishing emails. While phishing emails try to trick you into revealing sensitive data, spear phishing emails try to trick you into performing an action that helps cybercriminals steal data or wreak havoc on your device. Cybersecurity Services Escanaba helps to safeguard your business from the various threats of phishing emails.

On top of that, spear phishing and phishing attack victims are also growing. With technology advancing rapidly, cybercriminals’ success rate is increasing as well. However, knowing the difference between phishing and spear phishing can help protect you from malware attacks.

In this blog post, we will cover what phishing and spear phishing are, how they differ from each other, and how you can stay protected from them.

What is Phishing?

Phishing is a cybercrime where hackers send fraudulent emails in the hope of obtaining sensitive information. These emails often look official and can appear to come from banks, financial institutions, or other prominent organizations. However, the critical elements of a phishing scam are the same: criminals create believable emails or web scams that trick you into giving up sensitive information (such as email credentials or bank account info).

If you’re suspicious about online interaction, always be safe and don’t give away any personal information! Also, be wary of emails asking for sensitive information without providing context or explanation.

What is Spear Phishing?

Spear phishing is a cybercrime that involves email attacks. This type of scammer attempts to trick people into opening a malicious attachment or clicking on a link in an email. The attack can lead to the victim’s computer being infected with malware, which can compromise their data and cause financial damage. Spear Phishing attacks are often more successful than cyber-attacks because they’re disguised as legitimate messages from well-known organizations. This makes them seem trustworthy, making it easier for hackers to access users’ accounts. In addition, According to SlashNext State of Phishing Report for 2022, 76% of threats were targeted spear-phishing credential harvesting attacks

So, always check the sender’s domain name and security credentials before opening any attachments, and only click on links if you are sure who they are from. Not only does spear phishing pose a security risk, but it can also negatively impact people’s trust in legitimate organizations and individuals. If everyone practiced caution when interacting online, spear phishing could be significantly reduced.

Spear Phishing vs. Phishing: What’s the Difference?

Phishing creates an incorrect email or website to trick users into sharing sensitive information, such as login credentials. It can be done in various ways, but in pear phishing scams, perpetrators send emails that trick recipients into revealing personal information.

Spear phishing scams are different because they involve sending fake emails that trick people into opening them. In both cases, the goal is to extract confidential information from the victim.

To avoid becoming a victim, be aware of the warning signs of phishing and spear phishing scams. These include suspicious links, unsolicited messages, and unexpected requests for personal information. If you notice any of these signs, immediately report the email to authorities. Also, stay alert when emailing sensitive information or credentials to unknown sources. 

Phishing vs. Spear Phishing: A Bigger Threat Than Ever

Today, phishing scams and spear phishing scams are becoming more common. Both types of fraud are hazardous and can lead to identity theft, financial damage, and cyberbullying. Phishing scams involve fraudsters posing as legitimate organizations to steal personal information. Spear phishing scams take this one step further by tricking the victim into opening a malicious email attachment.

Both phishing and spear phishing scams can cause serious harm to online users, so it’s vital that you stay safe from these scams. To avoid phishing and spear phishing scams, be vigilant of emails asking for your sensitive information or bank account details. Also, only click on emails from known sources, such as your bank or email provider.

Phishing vs. Spear Phishing Examples

Phishing is a scam where criminals try to steal your personal information by posing as someone from the company you work for or a trusted source. In 2022, SlashNext detected an 80% increase in threats from trusted services such as Microsoft, Amazon Web Services or Google, with nearly one-third (32%) of all threats now being hosted on trusted services. In phishing scams, criminals try to get your login credentials by convincing you to follow a link in an email or website that appears trustworthy.

Similar to phishing scams, spear phishing scams use similar targeting techniques and fake emails to fool their victims into taking action. In addition, the scammers will often attempt to access sensitive data through social engineering, like posing as a bank employee or government official.

If you’re ever approached by someone asking for your personal information, take caution and ask questions first! Phishing and spear phishing are both severe forms of cyber attack, so everyone needs to be aware of their signs and avoid becoming a target.

How to Protect Your Organization from Phishing and Spear Phishing Attacks

Spear phishing and phishing are cyber-attacks that use malicious emails to steal sensitive information from users. Spear phishing attacks are more targeted than phishing and usually use personalized, targeted emails with links that take users to malicious websites. Both spear phishing and phishing can be extremely harmful to your organization’s security and data integrity.

One way to protect yourself from phishing and spear phishing attacks is to use strong passwords, not click on unknown email links, and be aware of suspicious emails and online behavior. Another way to protect yourself is to install anti-virus software and firewall protection on your computer and smartphone. Finally, you should monitor your organization’s online activity for signs of phishing and spear phishing attacks. By doing this, you can identify and stop any malicious activity before it can affect your organization.


Phishing and spear phishing attacks are becoming more prevalent in the business world. Organizations of all sizes need to understand how these threats can impact their business and what they can do to protect themselves. The information provided above should help you know what phishing and spear phishing attacks are, why they are so threatening, and how to prevent them from affecting your business. If you want to learn more on phishing attacks, our blog is an excellent place to start.

Post courtesy: DS Tech, Comprehensive Tech Support Solutions.