The Difference Between Hacking and Phishing: A Guide for Business Owners

The Difference Between Hacking and Phishing A Guide for Business Owners

As a business owner, you know how important it is to keep your company’s data and information secure. However, with so many different types of cyber threats out there, it can be difficult to know where to start. Two common types of cyber attacks are hacking and phishing. In this article, we’ll explain the difference between the two and provide strategies for protecting your business against them.


Hacking is a term used to describe the unauthorized access of a computer system or network. Hackers use a variety of methods to gain access, such as exploiting vulnerabilities in software or guessing weak passwords. Once they have access, they can steal sensitive data, install malware, or cause other types of damage.

Businesses are frequently targeted by hackers, as they often have valuable information and are seen as an easy target. For example, a hacker might target a business to steal customer credit card information or to gain access to confidential business plans.

The risks and consequences of a hacking attack can be severe. A business might lose valuable data, suffer financial losses, or damage its reputation. To protect against hacking, businesses should take steps such as using strong passwords, keeping software up-to-date, and using firewalls and other security measures.


Phishing is a type of cyber attack in which the attacker tries to trick the victim into giving up sensitive information, such as passwords or credit card numbers. Phishing attacks often take the form of emails or websites that look like they come from a legitimate source, such as a bank or an online retailer.

Businesses are also frequently targeted by phishing attacks. For example, an attacker might send an email to a company’s employees, pretending to be the CEO and asking for sensitive information. If an employee falls for the scam, the attacker can gain access to the company’s systems or steal valuable data.

The risks and consequences of a phishing attack can be just as severe as those of a hacking attack. To protect against phishing, businesses should educate their employees on how to recognize and avoid phishing emails. Additionally, businesses should use spam filters and other security measures to prevent phishing emails from reaching their employees.


While hacking and phishing are both types of cyber attacks, they operate differently. Hacking involves gaining unauthorized access to a system or network, while phishing involves tricking a victim into giving up sensitive information. However, both types of attacks can be used in combination. For example, a hacker might use a phishing email to gain access to a business’s systems.


As a business owner, it’s important to take cyber threats seriously. Hacking and phishing are two common types of attacks that businesses face. To protect your business, you should take steps such as using strong passwords, keeping software up-to-date, educating your employees on how to recognize phishing emails, and using security measures such as firewalls and spam filters. By taking these steps, you can help keep your business’s data and information secure. 

The best way to defend your business against phishing attacks is by seeking help from IT professionals with expertise in cybersecurity. At West County Computers, we provide comprehensive solutions to protect your organization from the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats.

Don’t wait until it’s too late – fill out our online contact form or call West County Computers today at 707-360-8652. As a bonus, we recommend taking advantage of our free IT Risk Assessment to help you identify potential vulnerabilities and strengthen your organization’s cybersecurity posture. Start your journey towards a safer business environment.

Related Articles:
What is Phishing and How to Defend Your Business
Why a Firewall Matters for Your Cyber Security Protection
Why Is Malware Maintenance Important for Small Businesses?
5 Tips for Protecting Your Organization’s Data
How Can Email Phishing Affect a Business

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