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Samples of a recent phishing attempts:

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Protecting Yourself

In most cases, simply opening an email or reading a message is safe. You have to do something after reading the message for most phishing attacks to work, such as opening the attachment or clicking on a link. To protect yourself, keep the following in mind:

  • Just because a message appears to come from a friend or someone you know does not mean the message is safe. Cyber attackers may have infected their computer, hacked their account or spoofed their “From” address. If you are suspicious about a message from someone you know, call the person to verify if he or she really sent it.
  • Be suspicious of messages that claim to be from an official organization but have grammar or spelling mistakes. Most organizations have professional writers and do not make these mistakes.
  • Before you click on a link, hover your mouse cursor over it. This will display the true destination of where it will take you. Confirm that the destination displayed matches the destination in the email and make sure it is going to the organization’s legitimate website. Even better, type the proper website address into your browser. For example, if you get an email from your bank asking you to update your bank account, type your bank’s website into your browser, then log into the website directly. On a mobile device? No problem. Simply hold your finger down on the link and you should see the true destination appear in a pop-up window.
  • Be careful with attachments and only open those you were expecting. Many of the infected attachments sent today can bypass most anti-virus programs.
  • Remember that sometimes you are the greatest risk to your email. Always double check that you are emailing the correct person before sending one, especially when sending something sensitive. For example, with email features like autocomplete, you may try to email someone in finance, but accidently end up emailing an old friend.
  • Be skeptical of any message that requires “immediate action,” creates a sense of urgency or threatens to shut down your account.
  • Be suspicious of any email directed to “Dear Customer” or some other generic salutation.

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