Recently, there have been several data breaches at very large companies and banks. When these occur, I am reminded to be diligent in protecting my identity by not clicking on attachments in emails and ensuring that I have different, complex passwords for my online logins. Another way to be mindful of internet security is to avoid being scammed by something called, “phishing.” Now I’m not talking about the type of fishing that Tony recently did on a guy’s weekend.
Phishing is a technique that is carried out when you receive an email and believe it is from your bank (or another company you do business with on a regular basis). The email asks for you to verify your login information by clicking on a link within the email. Once you do this and enter your private information, you have given the bad guys all of the information they need to access your account and possibly steal your identity.
What does a phishing email message look like? Something similar to this –
A good indication that the email did not come from a valid company is that the spelling and grammar are incorrect. The scammers also use scare tactics, telling you that your account will be closed if you don’t respond to the email. Sometimes you can even tell that it is a “bad guy” by the strange looking email address from where the email originated. Often it does not look like a legitimate company email address. Don’t be fooled!
With so much private information available on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, it is very easy for the thief to gather information to target you. The best way to avoid this is to never click on the links in an email, unless you can validate that they are legitimate. When I receive these types of emails, I call the bank or company to confirm that it is from them. Most of the time, it is not and I have saved myself the headache of cleaning up a large mess. On the rare occasion that it is legitimate, it has only taken a few minutes out of my day. Tony wrote a Tuesday Tip about phishing a few years back that has some valuable information that is still relevant today.
The best advice I can give is to be mindful that there are people who are actively working to steal your information (all the time) and so you should be diligent in your efforts to protect yourself.
With over 16 years’ experience in the legal arena as well as client management, Alisa brings her experience to Network 1’s team, clients and partners. She strives to be proactive in managing clients’ needs and expectations with an outcome of client satisfaction and retention.
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Network 1 Consulting is a 16-year-old, IT Support company in Atlanta, GA. We become – or augment – the IT department for law firms and medical practices. Our IT experts can fix computers – but what our clients really value are the industry-specific best practices we bring to their firms. This is especially important with technology, along with regulations and cyber threats, changing so rapidly. We take a proactive approach to helping our clients use technology to gain and keep their competitive advantage.