Relaxing on a wooden boat while you wait on that tug from your fishing line, all while enjoying a perfect sunset with your friendly neighborhood thief? Don’t confuse phishing with the storied American pastime. Phishing involves sending e-mails or phone calls that appear to come from a legitimate organization with the intention of gathering personal information. Luckily, there are signs you can look out for and preventative measures you can take to help protect yourself from a phishing attack.
Only Enter Personal Data on Secure Sites
Phishers often create websites that are clones of real sites to steal your information. You may think you’re entering your social security number or birthday on your credit union’s site, but in reality, your information is being sent elsewhere. One of the best ways to prevent this from happening is to always check the address bar at the top of your browser and make sure it is a secure site. Secure sites have an “s” after http and are often accompanied with a lock icon. Head on over to cutx.org and you will see that the address bar displays https://cutx.org. That’s an example of what a secure site will look like.
Only Give Personal Information over the Phone if You Initiate the Call
Phishing scams can happen over the phone as well. Someone claiming to be from your credit union may ask you for personal information in order to refund money to one of your accounts, only to use that information for their own crooked acts. To prevent this from happening, never provide personal data over the phone unless you initiate the call yourself.
Check Your Accounts Often
Periodically check your accounts for any irregularities. Being proactive give you peace of mind and can catch any phishing activities before they bite.
And for a bonus piece of advice, when in doubt, ask. If there is a website, e-mail, or phone-call that seems phishy (pun intended), give that organization a call and ask about it. It never hurts to ask.