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What Are Phishing Scams

What Are Phishing Scams

You’ve probably seen one.  An email asking you for information.  Maybe from your bank or another trusted company or vendor that you use.  The email is quite simple, it asks you for basic information, and looks real but is designed to fool you into handing over personal info that leaves you vulnerable.  This scam is called phishing and you need to avoid it at all costs. Here's how.

What Are Phishing Scams 

Most of us have gotten used to doing business online.  We buy and sell things and we have accounts with sensitive information.  The risk of doing business online is low as long as you do business with organizations you trust. Problems occur when criminals impersonate the trusting organizations.  The goal of a phishing scam is to fool you into handing over sensitive information such as account numbers, passwords, pin numbers, birthdates, SSN’s, email addresses, etc., and other information that will enable them to access your personal information. Some will be very creative and use the exact same logos, phone numbers, even account numbers that appear on your statements or bills. The key to avoiding them is awareness. 

How to Spot Phishing Scams

First, be suspicious of all emails that ask for your information.  Here’s a perfect example of a phishing email that you may get from your office 365 email account.  It looks so legitimate and it is telling you that your trial account will be automatically deleted.  Just verify your email address by clicking the sign-in button.   

There are often a few "tells" in phishing scams

-Scare Tactics: They often try to scare you. In the example above, “deleted in 3 days unless you verify." They also insist you click a link or  “Sign In”. Clearly, you shouldn't click any links or fill out any forms in suspicious emails.

-Mistakes: There might be spelling mistakes or other grammar mistakes and they won’t use your name but may say something like “valued customer”.

If you receive a phishing email at work, stay calm and contact your company’s IT Department.  They will give you instructions on what to do. If you receive a phishing email in your personal email account, stay calm and just delete it.  If you accidentally clicked any links or fill out information online, contact the organizations where you have accounts to disable those them and set up new ones. 

navitend, is a Managed Information Technology Company provides preventative maintenance and proactive approach to help companies keep their electronic devices running at optimal performance.  They work closely with companies who are experiencing slow running computers, viruses and malware issues, bad internet connectivity, data loss, and cybersecurity breaches.  navitend helps to navigate their client’s technology issues before they become bigger problems.

View these related articles on detecting cyber attacks and how to plan for them

Contact us at 973.448.0070


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