I wrote about staying safe online a long time ago. It seems to have only gotten worse as criminals have too much time on their hands and are on the lookout for more ways to scam an unsuspecting user.
Recently, CIO offered some great tips on identifying email as a phishing scam. As defined by Wikipedia, “Phishing is attempting to acquire information (and sometimes, indirectly, money) such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.”
Two of the tips they mention are ones I’m asked about frequently. If you receive something from a bank and you don’t have an account there, well… you should know what to do with it. (Delete). However, if the sender does contain your bank’s name, go to the bank’s actual site. If they have a fraud warning, it will be on there. Don’t rely only on email no matter how legitimate it appears.
Another frequent problem is when everything about the email does looks legitimate. With these messages, hovering over a link will show you where a link really goes. (Don’t click – just hover). The text in a link and the destination are two different things. With phishing messages, you’ll find it goes to a website that has nothing to do with the legitimate company. For more tips, visit CIO.