I recently attended an information security update seminar and wanted to share with you a few things I learned.
When it comes to compromising security to your financial accounts or other personal records, hackers have a new and very effective way to obtain your information. They actually get you to send it right over to them. This is called phishing (say fishing) and it’s easy to spot these attempts to compromise your online security if you know what to look for.
Phishing is defined as the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers.
Attackers are getting very clever about infecting your computer system, stealing your logon credentials or even transferring funds by engaging you through personalized email, mobile apps and any social media you might use.
What you should look for:
- Text messages from unknown numbers (DELETE them)
- Text messages that try to get you on the phone with someone (if this seems like an important message from your bank or other business, call the institution from a verified number, on your credit card, from your files, etc. DO NOT RETURN the call to a number provided in the text or email)
- Emails that seem credible but are asking you to click on a link to update password or other personal information (DO NOT CLICK!)
Assume all of these types of messages are fraudulent:
- Emails, text messages from a vendor requesting you change bank accounts
- Emails, text messages clearly labeled from the company president
- Emails, text messages requests to set up a new vendor (this is for businesses)
- Emails, requests from senior management to immediately wire refund money to a customer (this is for businesses)
These types of attempts to steal your information are sent more often in the middle of the week (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) than any other day.