Cyber Monday & Online Safety

I remember a time when things were simpler. Phishing was what you did with your dad and granddad and, if you were lucky, it meant you had a delicious dinner that evening. No? Phishing is when nefarious people pretend to be legitimate business and cheat people. The use of what appear to be real emails from real companies bombard us all. The allure of these electronic communications are designed to catch us off guard and supply criminals with our personal information like credit card numbers, passwords, and login information.

What can we do to protect ourselves? Whether it is an email or phone call, never provide this information to anyone where you have not initiated the contact. Even when you are using your online portals, be sure to activate AND use two step verifications. (2SV) This 2SV will make sure that even if someone does get your information, they will not be able to complete the second step. This is important for anyone who uses Google Docs or Drop Box.

Pay attention to the login site and be sure to only access sites with the proper HTTPS-protected sites. For organizations, be sure to put a policy in place so that no one can authorize a financial transaction via email. Avoid publishing sensitive information on social media. While it seems basic, remember to review URL’s to make sure they do not direct you to an unknown site. Also, pay attention to generic salutations and grammatical mistakes.

There is an old adage that if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Common sense goes a long way toward keeping you safe.