Some of the most widespread cyber-attacks that compromise your personal and financial information are done through phishing.
Phishing is when someone reaches out to you using deceptive emails and websites in an attempt to gather personal information, money, or both.
The attackers’ abilities to masquerade themselves as a reputable company or person have gotten so good that many clients have fallen for them and shared their stories.
Here are some tips to help keep yourself safe from these creative phishing scams:
- Stay informed through the news about the latest phishing techniques. Share your knowledge with friends and family.
- Whenever a company sends an email claiming to need personal information from you or encouraging you to click on a link or open an attachment, go directly to the company’s secure website and log into your account from there, or call them directly instead.
- On social media websites, don’t post personal information such as your home address, phone number, or date of birth. These are key pieces of information needed to open accounts in your name and can be used by scammers to create and send phishing emails to you.
- Verify a site’s security and legitimacy before inputting your username and password by checking to make sure the web address begins with “https” and has a padlock symbol to the left of the website’s URL. You can even click on the padlock to validate that it’s secure.
- Be aware of URL redirects that subtly send you to a different website designed similarly to the one you expect. Ensure the site name, capitalization, and punctuation are exactly as they should be. You can install an anti-phishing toolbar that will automatically run quick checks on the sites you visit.
- Ignore any emails or websites with bad grammar. Misspelled words and awkward phrasing are always red flags and should be considered illegitimate.
By following these tips, I hope you can significantly reduce your chances of falling victim to phishing and keep your online accounts secure. Please reach out to me with any questions or concerns and stay safe online!