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What is Phishing and how to protect ourselves?

Phishing is an attempt to fraudulently acquire sensitive information from your computer / your online accounts, such as usernames, passwords, or credit card details, by masquerading as a trustworthy entity. For example, there are reports of phishing emails that falsely appear to be your trusted networks such as eBay, PayPal, or even your banks and financial institutions. These fraudulent emails ask users to update their information; billing information, take action on a disapproved ad, edit their account, or accept new terms and conditions.  In some cases, the links may lead to websites that install malware applications and scripts onto your computer.

If you’ve receive a phishing email that attempts to fraudulently collect passwords, credit card numbers, or other sensitive information, please report it to your trusted network immediately and make them aware of fraudulent activities in their behalf.

Tips to protect ourselves from phishing:

  1. Don’t reply to, or click links within, emails that ask for personal, financial, or account information.
  2. Check the message headers. The ‘From:’ address and the ‘Return-path’ should reference the same source. If necessary, look at the expanded header as some phishing usevulnerableemail servers to rout their messages.
  3. Instead of clicking the links in emails, go to the websites directly by typing the web address into your browser, cut and paste, or use bookmarks.
  4. If on a secure page, look for “https” at the beginning of the URL and the padlock icon in the browser.
  5. Use a browser that has a phishing filter (Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Opera).
  6. Use strong passwords. A strong password should be unique; include letters, numbers, and symbols; and be changed regularly.
  7. If you ever need to change your account information, such as your billing details or your password, you should always sign in to your account from the main login page of your trusted network (i.e. your bank’s main website) and make the changes directly within your account.

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