A few days ago, a close friend told me that someone tried to steal their email account! To add to that scare, I was recently forwarded a scam offer that looked legit until I looked a little closer. I decided to take these two warnings and post a few bits for you to look out for too.
Be aware and be safe.
What to look for on the website:
- Does the site URL (in the address bar) match the site you THINK you are on?
Not sure? Do a Google search for the site you think your on and compare the URLs.
- When you click on the back button or try to close the window, are there a bunch of intentionally misleading pop up boxes asking you to stay?
What to look for in that email:
- Does the from address match what you expect? (email@example.com is not the same as firstname.lastname@example.org)
- If suspicious, go to the website referenced in the email separately from the email. In other words, open the browser and either use your own bookmark, type in the URL, or Google the company.
- If you are told to make a phone call to your bank (or a company). Don’t use the phone # in the email. Use the phone number published the bank/company website (that you went to independently of the suspect email).
A couple of the sites I reference are:
- Google the interesting bit with the word “scam” in the search bar. See what crops up in the first couple of results.
- http://www.snopes.com (be aware there are annoying pop ups)
- Make your passwords long
- Use different passwords for different sites
- Don’t share you passwords on websites, with tech support, through emails, or on post-it notes.
(if you’d like to keep track of your passwords, use a secure method like keepass)
- Change your passwords from time to time
- Answer security questions with fake answers (social media makes those pretty easy to hack these days!)
- Check and adjust your privacy settings on all social media periodically