Phishing Expedition’s – Keeping Safe During the Holidays

Several of our customers received a disturbing email over the past few days.  Once customer received one that said her email was being discontinued.  Another received one that said his bank account was being closed.  I even got one that said my SIM card was being deactivated so I would effectively be without cell service!  These are all “phishing expedition’s”.

Luckily I know the signs to look for to determine if an email is a phishing expedition or for real.Phishing Expedition

  1. Make sure the email is really from a trusted source.  If the email is from a friend, read it through before you click on any links.  Does the email sound like it was written by your friend?  Are you expecting an attachment or other link from them?  Always check when you receive an email with a link or other attachment before clicking.  Did your friend really send it?
  2. Before I click on a link in an email, I hover my mouse over the link to see where the click will take me.  When I hovered over the “Know More” link on the email I received, it goes to the website t.goddypuddy.IN/withLotsMoreTextFollowing. The “in” at the end of the website is a country code.  In the US, we are used to seeing .com, .biz, .net, or .gov.  In this case the .IN refers to  India.  So I know that the email originated in India. (Note that you can only do this on your computer, so don’t click on any links from your phone or tablet unless you know they are 100% safe!)
  3.  Does the body of the website match the Subject line?  In this case, the Subject is that my mobile number is being deactivated.  But the body of the email is completely unrelated talking about banks and the Supreme Court.
  4. If your friend or colleague says they didn’t send the message, tell them to change their password and run their virus scanner ASAP!

What else can you do to stay safe?

  • Put a note on your calendar to change your email passwords at least once a month.  Here are some tips to creating a strong password.
  • Be extra careful when surfing the web or viewing posts on Social Media. Malware is increasingly being spread that way.

Looking for more info on phishing expedition’s?  Here are some past blogs:

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fifteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more on our website, or give us a call 303-618-0154. Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area as well as remote service throughout North America.

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