Belgians have reported over 1 million phishing emails in 2019
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    Belgians have reported over 1 million phishing emails in 2019

    Phishing is used by cybercriminals to spread malware, obtain personal data and steal money. Credit: Pixabay

    The Centre for Cybersecurity Belgium (CCB), the government agency regulating safety on the internet in Belgium, has received over one million reports of phishing in 2019.

    A phishing email seems innocent, but usually contains a virus that can steal personal data once the email has been opened. The CCB and the Cyber Security Coalition are launching a campaign to alert people to the danger of phishing on Tuesday.

    The CCB started another phishing awareness campaign four years ago, urging people to report suspicious emails they received so the organisation could block the websites that sent the emails.

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    In 2019, the CCB received over a million reports of phishing, compared to 640,000 in 2018. The raised number is mostly due to people being more aware of the dangers of phishing, according to Miguel De Bruycker, director of the CCB, reports VRT NWS.

    “Phishing is used by cybercriminals to spread malware, obtain personal data and steal money. By making the Belgian population resistant to phishing, we can kill three birds with one stone, as it were,” he said. “The more reports we receive on verdacht@safeonweb.be, the more fake websites we can block. In turn, fewer people will fall victim to these practices,” he added.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times