“Phishing” is a tech industry term for a kind of cybercrime where people try to fool other people into sending them money or revealing personal information online. The name comes from the idea of fishing: scammers send a message that acts as bait, hoping to “hook” someone.
- The telltale signs of phishing: too good to be true, a sense of urgency, fake familiarity.
- Slow down and take the time to read before you click.
- Remember, phishers use information that is publicly available about you to make you think you know them, or to make them seem more credible to you.
- Use caution- look closely at the sender’s address. Don’t download any attachments if the email seems “phishy”, and do not click on links. Attachments and links can lead to malware infections.
Don’t take the bait!
The good news is that you have the power to throw these phish back! Let’s take a minute to talk about what you can do to avoid phishing. First, just be cautious. Remember the old warning about not talking to strangers? It goes double on the internet, since anyone can pretend to be anyone else and an email from an exciting new friend could actually be a trick. Ask your potential phisher to provide proof or explain their amazing offer in detail, and you’ll trip up an attacker really fast. Second, remember not to share sensitive information through emails. Details like your passwords, credit card numbers and Social Security Number are things that no legitimate company would be asking you for in an email.
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