1. Think Before Clicking Links
Even when emails contain your name or claim to know your passwords, take a moment to think before you click on any links. Phishing emails often contain exciting or upsetting news to invoke your emotions to take action quickly – and recklessly. Look first at the from email address. Does it match exactly with previous emails from your legitimate source? If not, it’s likely a scam. But it will likely look and feel exactly like it’s from a legitimate source because scammers are smart and think of every detail, even using logos from brands you trust. If you click on a link within the email, the website you go to will also look like the real thing, so beware! General rule is if the messaging is urgent, don’t click and don’t give out any information. Instead, go directly to the website you trust and use the contact info there to confirm the information and ask questions.
2. Look for Website Security
Tap into your suspicious side when browsing the internet or opening links in emails and always make sure a website is secure. Check to see if the website URL starts with HTTPS to confirm that it is secure before giving out any personal information. Web browsers will often warn you before you visit non-secure sites and NEVER download anything from suspicious emails or websites.
3. Protect Personal Information
Do not give out any personal information to websites that are not secure. If you buy products or fill out forms from suspicious websites, cybercriminals may get your credit card information. Be cautious when shopping or visiting sites, and always listen to your gut if something feels suspicious or sketchy.
4. Stay Informed
An easy way to remain on the offensive and protect yourself against phishing scams is to stay informed on new scams. Keep an eye out for news about potential scams online and do some research if you think you're being targeted. When you learn about scams early, you give yourself the best chance to avoid becoming a victim.