Phishing 101: Avoid at All Costs

guy-snorkling-computer

If you’re unaware as to what exactly Phishing is, here it is in a nutshell.  Phishing is when an entity tries to steal your personal information from you.  Information such as credit card numbers, passwords and social security numbers are prime examples.  Usually, Phishing occurs in the form of an email.  It’ll sound urgent, but generic, and will blatantly request private information from you.

Here’s an example (and, try to picture this from any company that receives automatic payments from you such as your phone or cable company):

Dear member,

Your recent payment was not applied.  Please log in and update the credit card we have on file for you immediately.  If you fail to do so, your account will be deactivated. Please go to www.link.com to update. 

Thank you,

Company Name  

There are ways to identify Phishing emails.  Most of the time, the company name within the link presented will be misspelled or contain a symbol or number.  Also, check for misspellings and poor grammar throughout the email itself.

It’s best to use common sense, as well.  Make sure it’s relevant and plausible.  Would they really deactivate your account so quickly?  And, is your bill even due?

If you’re still unsure and feel there’s a need to confirm the legitimacy of the email, you have options.  Here are a few ideas:

  1. At the login screen, use the wrong password. But, as a warning, even if the site says it’s the wrong password, you’re not totally in the clear.
  2. Don’t click on the link. Instead, type the website into the URL bar yourself—not the whole thing, though.  If it’s coming from someone claiming to be from Verizon, only type in verizon.com. Leave out the rest.  You’ll be able to find billing or whatever it is you need from their homepage.
  3. If you do click on the link and a pop-up immediately displays, it’s best to exit out of your browser completely, reopen it and type the link in yourself.
  4. Most web browser have Antiphishing capabilities built-in. All browsers are different but it’s best to ensure your security panel is properly setup to include phishing protection.  They’ll warn you of any malicious sites you may come upon.

Cenetric is here to help you determine if emails are safe! Give us a call today, (913) 210-1950 or email us at info@cenetric.com.

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