The Pinnacle

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Protecting your personal information online


Phishing is a devious approach that cybercrooks use to trick you into revealing personal information, such as passwords or credit card and bank account numbers. They do this by sending you fake emails or directing you to a fake website.

Phishing attacks will involve you getting messages asking you to reveal personal information, usually via email or via a website.

The emails are seemingly sent from organizations or individuals the potential victims would normally get emails from, making them even more deceptive.

Legitimate companies will never ask you to confirm details via email, and if you are ever in doubt, call the company directly to confirm.

Web attacks can also take place through SMS messages. This method has become one of the most popular ways in which malicious threats are transmitted on Android devices.

These text messages include links that contain malware, and upon clicking them, the malicious program is downloaded to the user’s device. These programs often operate as SMS worms capable of sending messages, removing apps and files, and stealing confidential information from the user.
 

How to protect yourself

  • Have good habits and don't respond to links in unsolicited emails or on Facebook.

  • Don't open attachments from unsolicited emails.  Even the sender address can be forged to look like someone you know, so always be wary.  If in doubt, delete the email.

  • Protect your passwords and don't reveal them to anyone.

  • Don't give sensitive information to anyone—on the phone, in person or through email.

  • Look at a website's URL (web address). In many phishing cases, the web address may look legitimate, but the URL may be misspelled or the domain may be different (.com when it should be .gov).

  • Keep your browser up to date and apply security patches.

  • Ensure you have antivirus software installed and up to date on all computers.  There is also antivirus software available for phone devices.  Do your research.  Search for “Antivirus Reviews” on the internet, or if you have access to IT Support, ask them.  It may save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

If you want to learn more about how to keep your information safe, read our article about unbreakable and unique passwords.

 

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