Phishing is the fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive, personal information such as usernames, passwords, credit card numbers or account information by posing as a trustworthy source, such as a reputable company. Phishing is commonly done through email, although social networking sites and chatting apps are becoming increasingly common routes as well.
How to spot a phishing attempt
- Did you expect the email?
- Is there an attachment that you did not request?
- Is the sender asking you to click on a link?
- Is the sender trying to create urgency?
- Is the grammar or spelling incorrect?
- Is the sender’s email address fake or misspelled?
- Is the tone consistent with the request/the supposed sender?
how to protect yourself from phishing
- Check links before clicking – hover your cursor over the hyperlink to view the URL and determine if the website makes sense.
- If a link looks suspicious, don’t click! Visit the website of the business or organization, login, and get access to the information there.
- Check the email address – does it match what you’re used to seeing?
- Contact the sender via phone/text to confirm they sent the email.
- Utilize an email client that runs automatic virus scans.
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