You’ve heard it from us before, data security measures are incredibly important to protect yourself from phishing attempts and cyber-attacks. Phishing is when scammers pose as a legitimate company or website, usually through email, to get you to click on links or open documents that are meant to hack your personal data. This isn’t a threat to be taken lightly, especially if you keep personal or business materials stored on your devices.
Though you never know when you may encounter a phishing scam, it’s important to be prepared and know the signs of phishy material.
THINK BEFORE YOU CLICK
An easy way scammers can get access to your accounts is by sending an email embedded with viruses from what looks to be a reputable company. For example, what appears to be a national shipping company may share a tracking number for a fake online purchase in an attempt to have you click on an unsafe link or download an attachment. Before opening any hyperlinks or attachments from someone you don’t know, it’s crucial to think before you click.
There are a few ways you can check if a source is authentic. By hovering your mouse over hyperlinks you can see the linked web address – if the text is misspelled or leads you to a website that you don’t recognize, don’t click it and delete the email. Follow suit if an email seems to lack logos or varies visually from previous emails you’ve received from that company.
DON’T VERIFY PERSONAL INFORMATION
Another common way scammers can collect personal and financial data is by asking you to sign into an account with confidential information. Never provide personal information through an email to unverified parties. With that being said, TruStone Financial will never ask for personal account information via email and always takes strong precautions to verify your account over the phone and in person to ensure it is you on the other end.
KNOW THE RISKS
Actively be on the lookout for phishing material. Once personal information is obtained, perpetrators may be able to assume an individual’s identity and commit fraud. Hackers could also use confidential information as ransom until the person or business they hacked wires them money.
Additionally, keep a close eye on your email for security notices from companies you have ties to, like your credit union, school, employer or retailer where you have important information stored.
If you believe you have become a victim of a phishing scam, change the passwords on all of your accounts immediately, update the anti-virus software on your computer and report the suspicious activity to your local police department.
Stay vigilant to protect your secure information.