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A woman working safely in a small business with useful phishing simulations and strong cybersecurity training.

Creating useful phishing simulations to help train your employees for the real thing can be a tough balancing act. It is crucial that the simulations are believable yet identifiable based on the training your staff has had, but you don’t want to set the bar too low because malicious actors won’t be so generous. Learning what goes into the most useful phishing simulations can help you ensure your company’s phishing training has resonated with both your employees and the higher ups that all have valuable network information the bad guys are after!

Start with Phishing Training

Of course, before any phishing simulations go out, your IT department should have rolled out phishing awareness training for everyone you plan to target. It is important to remember that phishing simulations reinforce other forms of training and do little on their own. Due to this, your mock phishing campaign should reflect the skills you’ve taught your employees and have a variety of clues ranging from fairly obvious to difficult to detect. This way, even if a simple clue gives the phishing email away, users can see what other clues may look like in the wild.

Use the Correct Bait

To make the most out of phishing simulations, they have to be attention grabbing for the employees receiving them. The content you include in the fake phishing campaign should be something an employee would perhaps expect to see in their inbox – even if it is a bit odd. Sending a phishing email to marketing employees that focuses on computer hardware may not provide them the best training opportunity. However, sending someone in the c-suite a phishing simulation based on finances or business strategy will keep them on their toes!

Phishing Simulation Timing and Strategy

To make your phishing simulations the most useful, it’s important to consider timing and training for the best possible outcomes. While a simulated phishing email sent to someone overnight works, it may not provide as good of a training opportunity as one sent in the middle of the workday. Malicious actors will try to target businesses when workers are busy and likely to pay less attention to what they are clicking on, and it’s good practice to mimic this when possible. Additionally, it can be a good idea to implement a variety of phishing strategies, such as impersonating coworkers or pretending to be other departments. Make sure to let anyone you may impersonate know, so they aren’t alarmed if contacted.


Phishing simulations can provide incredible insights into how well your employees retain their phishing training, but they can include obstacles like how to interpret simulation results and how to act on those results for your next training steps. For this reason, phishing training is one area that small businesses can see huge returns on if they work with an IT consultant. With a strong partner in IT like Robinett Consulting’s cybersecurity experts, your company’s phishing training can be optimized for the best results, and we’ll help you plan your next phase of training!

Robinett Consulting

Author Robinett Consulting

At Robinett Consulting, we are your consultative partner who strives to grow your business and have technology truly enabling you. We aim to understand you and your business so that you do what you do best unhindered by your IT.

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