With technology constantly changing, and developing viruses seeming to always affect us, it doesn’t matter how up to date your security program is; viruses remain a threat. Phishing scams are one of the biggest ways that these viruses find their way onto your system.
How Do You Recognize a Phishing Scam?
This where scammers will use text messages, social media, and email to lure you into providing personal information. It may be to steal your account numbers, your social security number, or your passwords.
If they manage to obtain this information they can use it for a variety of things including access to your bank account, emails, among others. These are known as phishing scams. Although there are ways to help protect yourself against them, scammers often improve their technique. Some of the things you need to look out for include:
- Emails from a trusted source such as your bank, social networking site, online payment website, or a credit card company.
- They will sometimes include a story to lure you into opening an attachment, or clicking on a link. They may say that they have noticed suspicious activity, attach a fake invoice, offer you something for free and ask you to pay the postage, or ask you to correct a payment problem, etc.
Protecting Yourself from Phishing Scams
You will find that some scams automatically go into the spam inbox of your email account, however, scammers are adapting and often outsmart the filters in place. This means it’s a good idea to protect yourself further. You should:
- Use security software to protect your computer. Set the software to automatically update so it’s able to be in top-notch condition to deal with new security threats.
- Use multi-factor authentication wherever possible. More and more accounts are now offering this as a standard protocol. They will fall into two different categories’ something you are (fingerprint, face, retina) or something you have (authentication app or mobile phone). Using this makes it much harder for a scammer to gain access to your accounts.
- Set the software on your phone to automatically update.
- Always back-up your data, and ensure they are never connected to your home network. You can use cloud storage or an external hard drive. You should also think about backing up the data on your phone.
Although you’re not obligated to do so, it helps them fight against scammers by reporting any phishing emails or scams that you receive or fall victim to. If you come across any sort of phishing, report it to firstname.lastname@example.org, or FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.
Using a Managed Security Provider can help you to stay in control of your IT security. They are on hand to help with security training, help you to recognize scams, help you to address them, and how to avoid them.