Learn How to Protect Yourself from Phishers

Written by , October 9, 2012

Learn How to Protect Yourself from PhishersYou’ll face many challenges and threats to your financial security virtually every day. Sometimes these threats are fairly straightforward and easy to guard against. Keep your checkbook and debit card protected at all times, choose strong and hard to guess passwords, memorize those passwords and don’t write them down anywhere.

But thieves are now using more sophisticated techniques to try to separate you from your money. Many of the new theft methods are known as “phishing” techniques. Phishing scams usually come in the form of emails which appear to come from a real company you do business with – usually a bank or financial institution.

Here is some banking advice and tips on how you can protect yourself from Phishers.

  • Beware of the “Urgent” Email. A common technique for phishers to use is sending you an urgent email that appears to from your bank, and which claims to be urgent or require your immediate attention. This technique actually plays on your vigilance in your protecting yourself, and upon your fears of not doing enough to do so. When you get this type of email, it’s best to call your bank to verify that it’s actually from them. Make sure to call your bank at the telephone number that’s listed on your bank statement or on their website, and not any number that’s given in the email.
  • Never Click Links in an Email. If you receive an email from someone purporting to be your bank, it’s imperative that you never click any links in the email. A standard phishing technique is to create a duplicate website that appears to be that of your bank. When you visit that website it’s virtually impossible to tell that it’s fake. You’ll enter your username and password into the fake website, and then be taken to a page that says something like “Our site is temporarily unavailable – try back again later.” But now the thief has your username and password, and you think that the bank’s website is unavailable so you won’t try to log in for some time. During this time they’ll use the information you gave them to empty your accounts.
  • Be Careful Over the Telephone. Not all phishing attempts are done via email. You should also be on your guard any time you receive a call from someone who claims to be from your bank. It’s easy to make a caller ID appear to be from someone else, so if you ever get a call of this nature the best course of action is to end that call, and then call your bank back at the number that you know to be theirs.
  • In general, the best way to avoid becoming a victim of a phishing attack is to take control of all communications between you and your bank. Make sure you’re initiating all website visits, emails and telephone calls.

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