In an age where we are exposed to the deep waters of the internet, identity theft and fraud has become a very real.
Dangerous current surging emails and web browsers everywhere. This kind of crime is known as “Phishing” (pronounced “Fishing”). Our reliance on digital communication and research methods have become more prolific; consequently, many people are lured into sharing personal and sensitive information through various forms of bait unbeknownst to the fish they are trying to catch. Let’s help you avoid being caught by getting to know these Phishermenand their hooks.
Be cautious of suspicious emails and their attachments:
Whenever you receive an email from a source you do not know, it is always better to delete it without opening. If a source claims to be a familiar organisation you are affiliated with, be sure to skeptically evaluate whether the source is who it claims to be. It is safe to say that no legit organisation will ask for your personal details over an email or via an unfamiliar link. Always beware of links and attachments! These are often infected emails claiming to be of importance to the receiver when they are in fact email worms in search of baiting a gullible fish. They are one of the most dangerous and fast spreading techniques used, whereby the Phisherman obtains an email address, which it then uses to catch all email accounts in your contacts folder. Once a person clicks on the link, a malware program installs itself on the device and it instantly becomes infected, sending out and infecting the contact list of the person without their knowledge. The Phiserman thus gains access to personal information stored on both the email account and its linked devices of multiple receivers of the mail.
Keep your device and mailboxes clean:
These days we spend as much time on our devices as we do in our homes, thus it is advisable to keep them equally tidy and clean. It is a good idea to empty archived, spam and junk folders regularly. This helps avoid unwanted dumpster divers – these scavengers are often embedded in a junk mail, designed to sift through old discarded mail in search of information previously shared with others to use as their own.
Change your passwords regularly:
Secure passwords are key in keeping identity theft and fraud at bay. Be sure to have secure passwords that are stored in a safe place, unobtainable by others. It is not a good idea to have passwords or any personal details stored in a browser or on a device unless such information is encrypted. There is a lot of reliable software available to do just that. Passwords need to be changed every few months, this will ensure that your information stay safe and secure.
Anti-virus and anti-malware software:
Good anti-virus and anti-malware software is essential in keeping the information stored on your digital devices safe. This is particularly important should you have run in with a worm infection or dumpster diver.
There are many fish in the sea, and even more Phisers waiting for their next big catch. Make sure you stay the only you out there in the vast w.w.w. ocean.