Don’t Be Caught Off Guard by a Phishing Attack
Presented by Weller Group
A phishing attack occurs when a hacker uses email to trick people into divulging personal information, which the fraudster can then use to steal your identity or money. Unfortunately, many often don’t realize they’ve fallen for a phishing scam until after they’ve been victimized. In all phishing attempts, some type of personal information is requested—a social security number (SSN), user ID, or password—through an email that requires a direct reply or provides a link to a “phishy,” or illegitimate, website.
Keep in mind that no trustworthy organization requests personal data or confidential information via email. If you receive an email that requests this type of information, consider it a major red flag.
Use these tips to help keep your devices from safe from these attacks.
- Don’t click on links or attachments that come with suspicious emails. If you think an email might be a phishing attempt, delete it immediately. Clicking on a link or opening an attachment could install malicious software (malware) that could access the accounts and passwords stored on your computer.
- If an email purports to come from a company with which you do business, go directly to the company’s website to verify the email’s authenticity. Open a new browser window to check for messages or review your account activity.
- Be wary of links from people you don’t know or messages that don’t read the way a friend normally writes.
- Don’t try to win anything—contests and advertising that suggest something is free are typically bogus. “Win a free iPad!” or “Get a $500 Target gift card!” messages represent an easy way to trick you into clicking on a link and redirecting you to a toxic website. These sites can then embed viruses and keyloggers on your computer that will record your passwords and IDs when you sign in to any account.
- Don’t panic when pop-ups appear telling you that “Your computer has been compromised. Click here to fix it!” When you click on these fraudulent pop-ups, you are typically brought to a site asking you to purchase applications that will actually harm your computer—not fix it. Be sure to enable pop-up blockers on your web browser.
- Get real security by using software on your computer that scans for viruses, spyware, adware, and more. If you accidentally access a dangerous attachment or click on a link, contact an information security specialist as soon as possible to run scans on your computer.
Rest assured that we’re always concerned about information security. We strive to keep you up to date on new security threats as well as potential solutions to help protect your information. If you have any questions, please contact our office by phone or email.
Weller Group is located at 6206 Slocum Road, Ontario, NY 14519 and can be reached at 315-524-8000. Securities and Advisory Services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser. Fixed insurance products and services are separate from and not offered through Commonwealth Financial Network.
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