Protect Your Identity:Don’t Get Phished!
It’s Cyber Security Awareness Month. Do you know how to protect your identity online?
“Phishing”– the act of targeting victims via email in the hopes of spreading viruses and gathering personal information – can happen to anyone. Cybercriminals have become quite savvy in their attempts to lure people into clicking on links or opening phony email attachments. Online phishing attacks can not only spread computer viruses, but they can pose a significant risk for identity theft.
Better Business Bureau has joined with the National Cyber Security Alliance’s STOP. THINK. CONNECT. campaign to recommend the following tips to avoid falling for an email phishing scam:
Be on your toes. Only open emails,attachments, and links from people you know. Use anti-virus software regularly andenhance email filters to block threats. Watch out for unsolicited emails thatcontain misspellings or grammatical errors. Email addresses that don't match up, typos and grammaticalmistakes are common red flags of a malicious phishing email. Also beware ofunsolicited emails from companies with which you have no association
Don’t believe what you see. It’s easy to steal the colors,logos and header of an established organization. Scammers can also makelinks look like they lead to legitimate websites, and make emails appear to come from a different sender.
Avoid sharing. Don’t reveal personal or financial information in an email, and do not respond to email solicitationsfor this information. This includes following links sent in email. Be wary of any urgent instructions to take specified action such as "Click on the link or your account will be closed."
Pay attention to awebsite's URL. Hover over any links to see where they lead. Malicious websitesmay look identical to a legitimate site, but the URL may use a variation inspelling or a different – but similar – domain.
If you are unsure whetheran email request is legitimate, try to verify it by contacting the companydirectly. Contact the company using information provided on an account statement, notinformation provided in an email. Information about known phishing attacks is available online from groups such as the Anti-Phishing Working Group. Report phishing to APWG.
Keep a clean machine. Having the latest operating system, software, web browsers, anti-virus protection and apps are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats.
For more information you can trust, visit bbb.org. For more tipsfrom the STOP. THINK. CONNECT campaign, visit Stay Safe Online. To report a fraud or scam, call the BBB Hotline: (903)581-8373.