A phishing scam is when cybercriminals combine spam emails, social engineering, and malicious attachments to infiltrate your computer and steal your personal data. These emails will often masquerade as legitimate company emails, and will include an attachment to download or a hyperlink to a malicious website. These attachments are bundled with malware, and the sites frequently ask to input personal information. Keep reading to learn how to protect yourself.
- Don’t open any emails or attachments from anyone you don’t know.
- Keep an eye out for typos – since these emails will masquerade as legitimate companies, the quality of the email needs to match the quality of the company. If you see typos, blurry logos, or badly phrased sentences – it’s likely a scam.
- Keep personal information private – assess the situation – does it seem necessary or appropriate to be giving this information away? Never give out your social security number, credit card or bank information, or any other confidential personal information.
- Download an adblocker – this will prevent popup ads from invading your browsing experience, in turn helping you to avoid clicking on a malicious files.
- Have your antivirus turned on – McAfee Total Protection will help protect you while you’re browsing.
- Use a strong password.
- Change your web browser now.
- Download Google Chrome: click here. Google Chrome is the safest and most updated browser. We highly recommend using it as your default browser. Among other security changes in January 2017, the address bar of the browser now marks “insecure” if it does not use https encryption.
- Make Google Chrome your default browser. Once you have downloaded Google Chrome, making it your default browser will ensure that any browsing window that is opened, automatically or otherwise, will be hosted by Google Chrome. Click here for clear instructions on how get started.
- If you’re a Mac user, be aware of the Google AdWords scam. If you are looking to download Google Chrome for your Mac, pay attention to what you’re downloading! Google Adwords is a “program” which tricks users into downloading a virus. Click here for tips on how to download programs safely online.
What to do if You’ve Been Phished:
- Update and scan your device. Ensure that you keep your operating system, as well as your FixMeStick, up-to-date at all times. This ensures all the patches that protect your system are in place, and all the malware definitions of the latest threats are updated. Run a scan immediately.
- Contact a credit agency. If you have disclosed any credit card or banking information, or are worried your identity may have been compromised, notify the credit bureau and your bank immediately.
- Change all your passwords. This includes social media accounts, email, online banking, and any other online accounts you may have. Try Dashlane for free to help ensure you have the strongest passwords.
Stay scam-aware! Check out our other scam-related blog posts below.