BLOG: How to protect yourself from ‘phishing’
The news is out about the latest large scale “phishing” scam regarding Netflix and their subscribers.
Let me first mention Netflix has absolutely nothing to do with this scam. They’re victims just as much as their subscribers simply because it’s their name associated with what could amount to millions of people voluntarily giving up their credit card and banking info to criminals who will most certainly try to use it. That in itself could damage a company’s reputation through no fault of their own.
“Phishing” is when scammers pretend to be legitimate companies in order to trick you into giving up sensitive information and they’re becoming more and more difficult to identify. As I mentioned this morning on CJOB, I’m pretty much suspicious of every email I receive, even from people I know (or maybe I don’t?) that ask me to do anything regarding financial information.
After all, why would my cousin Lori need to see my Visa number? Chances are she’s been hacked, or perhaps somebody has hacked my email list and is pretending to be somebody they’re not.
All I’m suggesting is, beware of online thieves that are trying to rob you because they’re out there and there are hundreds of thousands of victims that could tell you a hair raising story.
So how can you protect yourself?
Here are a few ways from identitytheftkiller.com. (By the way, great name! Right to the point!)
- Communicate personal info ONLY through telephone and secure websites(where the URL has a little lock icon on it) and if you’re going to do it via phone do it ONLY if you initiate the call!!
- Do not click on links, download files or open attachments in emails from unknown senders.
- Never enter personal information in a pop-up screen. Legitimate enterprises should never ask you to submit personal information in pop-up screens, so don’t do it.
- Check your online accounts and bank statements regularly to ensure that no unauthorized transactions have been made.
- If you’re a Google Chrome user, you can more securely protect yourself from phishing attacks with a simple extension from Google itself. The company’s Password Alert extension for Google Chrome works by temporarily storing an altered, partially randomized version of your password in your browser. Every time you enter a password, the extension compares your password to its saved version, and checks if the site is a legitimate Google Sign In page.
Some people still sigh and roll their eyes when internet security comes up in conversation or they “Stop being such an extremist” but after watching a buddy of mine get burned earlier this year I know this stuff can happen to anybody.
And it’s not cool.
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