5 Tips to a Phishing Free Life
Phishing scams threaten our Internet security and can be hard to detect. They can lead to identity theft, viruses, or the need for computer repair. To help protect your Internet security, we offer five tips for detecting phishing scams.
1. Avoid Action – Phishing scams work when you take action. An email that requests you reply with information or features clickable links only may be an attack. Generally legitimate emails include cut and past style links to verify instead of clicking. If there are only clickable links, the email may likely a phishing scam.
2. Beware of Overly Technical Words and Phrases – Phishing frequently uses highly technical words and phrases within their emails to scare you into believing them. An email that discusses your security in great detail, or sounds as if it was written by a computer tech, is probably a phishing scam. Legitimate businesses send out emails that can be read and understood by typical people, not just computer specialists.
3. Check the Links (URLs) – Phishing scams violate your security by providing links to apparently legitimate sites. Protect your security by checking the URLs of all links. The URL is the address of a website, www. some website.com for example. If you move the cursor over the link in an email, the URL that link connects to will be displayed at the bottom of the web browser. Make sure the URL corresponds to what it’s claiming to be. Otherwise, your security may be at risk.
4. Read Carefully – Emails from legitimate businesses are screened carefully, so mistakes can be signs of phishing. Many of these mistakes are small, like spelling “reset password” as “reset possword”, for example – and hard to notice. Read carefully to protect your security. A poorly written email is a indication of phishing.
5. Verify – If you worry that phishing emails might be real. Overcome this fear by contacting the “sender” directly, NOT by replying to the email or call a phone number in the email, however by only using an known, published, and good web address or phone number, DO NOT give them any personal information.