Protect Yourself from Phishing
In the article “How to Avoid Texting Scams”, we explain how hackers try to gain access to your phone or information via text. Similar strategies apply to emails. Perhaps you receive an email where your name is spelled wrong, from a merchant you haven’t ordered with, or about a bill you already paid. Don’t knock your intuition, your gut can tell you a lot. These are often “phishing scams”.
Phishing scams are an attempt to obtain private information or gain access to your computer, phone or accounts by sending a fake email or text that appears somewhat familiar. Here are some ways to recognize and avoid these types of scams:
- Verify the sender. Ask yourself, were you expecting an email or a text from this person or merchant? Is their name spelled right? Is your name spelled right? If not, contact the sender directly through a known phone number or email to confirm the communication is legitimate. Otherwise, delete the email or text.
- Use a SPAM filter. A program designed to detect unsolicited email and prevent those messages from going into your inbox. If you don’t see it, you can’t open it.
- Update your security software and operating systems regularly. It can be a pain to install software or system updates but those few minutes can be crucial to keeping your information safe.
- Think before you click. Don’t click on any suspicious attachments or links, especially if you don’t recognize the sender. If you’re on a computer, hover your cursor over the link to view the full URL. If it looks unfamiliar or has spelling errors, delete the email and do not click the link.
If you ever feel suspicious about a text or an email, take caution and follow these tips to help protect yourself from phishing scams.
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