Protect Yourself from Phishing Scams with These Tips

Last week, Arby’s Restaurant Group was hit with a possible breach of their credit card systems, potentially affecting more than 355,000 credit and debit cards. The malware in their systems which collected this information seems to have been installed through a phishing email. Phishing is not a new hacking technique, but it has gotten more sophisticated over the years. Protect yourself and your personal data from these hacking attempts with these tips.

Phishing Scams

Anyone can be a victim of a phishing scam. Follow these tips to protect yourself and your digital identity.

1. Be Cautious of Emails with Link Requests

Phishing, by definition, is the act of sending an official-looking email from a well-known company asking you to click a link, usually to change your password on that site. Clicking that link will open your system up to malware that leaves your digital identity at serious risk of being stolen. Never click on these links.

2. Companies Don’t Ask for Passwords in Emails

Big online firms like Facebook, Amazon, and Google have policies that state that they will never ask you for your password through email. If you get a suspicious-looking email asking you for a password, check the firm’s site directly to see if they have a policy similar to this. Fake emails, at first glance, look like the real thing. However, there are usually typos in the body that can identify it as a fake, or the contact address is not from a or domain. Also, make sure to check out the link. Addresses that begin with http:// should set off alarms – legitimate emails from these companies will use the standard secure addresses identified by HTTPS at the beginning.

3. Make Your Current Passwords More Secure

We’ve discussed before how to make your passwords more secure, so now is a great time to reset them if you haven’t already. Use combinations of lower-case, upper-case, numbers, and symbols; don’t use any personal identifying information in your passwords; and use different passwords for each site. You can also use a secure password manager like Dashlane or 1password to help you keep all of your passwords in a safe place.


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