As the holiday season has ramped up, so has the online hacking/phishing of accounts that are connected to your bank accounts, credit cards and debit cards. Reports of the latest phishing for Amazon and Paypal are just two of the ongoing attempts that are used to steal money from your account. Here are a few tips on how to avoid these phishing scams that you get in an email or text message.
In this day of information overload, consumers often quickly scan an article and make a quick decision. Phishing scams target those users that don't take special care or slow down to read the actual email. The more advanced the email, the more text in the email, the more likely the internet user will simply not read what is in it increases the chance that the user will click on the phishing link.
1. Do not click the link in the message at all costs. Go to the actual website (amazon.com, paypal.com) and log in through your normal login procedure. Then verify the information that the email sent you is true or false.
2. NEVER put in your user id or password into a site that you are not absolutely certain is the actual site. Short URLs / links are often used and are SIMILAR to the address as well as the page looks very similar to the real site.
3. Slow down, verify that the address is correct, then put in your user id and password.
4. Make sure you have solid virus protection installed.. Quite often, your virus protection can catch that a page is false and alert you that it is an unsafe page. We recommend F-Secure Safe as a virus protection/web protection program to catch unwanted or hostile pages right in the browsers and email.
Multiple news outlets are reporting various twists on the latest phishing scams. Here are a few stories to check out if you need some validation.
- USA Today - How to Prevent Phishing Scams
- Yahoo Tech News - How to Avoid Phishing Attacks like the one hit the DNC
Phishing scams are easy to prevent if you stick with the simple 3 rules above. Good luck and Happy Holidays!