Have you been Phished?

Phishing is a real threat online these days. For those of you that have not heard of it, urbandictionary.com defines Phishing as "Tricking an internet user into giving you his/her login name and password. Could also be used to get credit card information." Phishing is often carried out by email, or on the phone, and can be incredibly difficult to spot. Fortunately, here's a few great tips to avoid it.

1. NEVER GIVE YOUR USERNAME AND PASSWORD TO ANYONE! Sorry for the shouting. Just don't do it. Your credit card company will never ask for that information. Your insurance company will not ask for that information. Google will not ask for that information. No company that you deal will ask you for that information on the internet, or on the phone. If they do ask, it is a phishing attempt. Delete the email, or hang up the phone.

2. Be suspicious of every call or email you receive. I hate to be like this, but seriously. You never know who is phishing, and who is legit. If your credit card company has contacted you by phone, and you aren't 100% sure they are who they say they are, let them know that you are going to hang up and call back using the phone number listed on their website. If they hassle you about it, they are probably phishing. If they give you a phone number to call, use the one on the website.

3. Always consider the source. This is good advise for everything these days, but especially on the internet. If you are looking for a phone number for a particular company, type their name into the address bar on your browser. If you are sent an email, consider who the email came from. Were you expecting that email? Does it have attachments that look unusual somehow? Hover your mouse over any link contained in the email and look at the bottom of the screen to see where the link actually goes. That brings us to...

4. Look at where you are going. If you see a link anywhere online, if you hover your mouse over it, there should be a small box that appears in the bottom left of the screen (In Chrome, at least... I haven't used other browsers in a while) that will show you the full address for the link. Be careful though. Good phishers will try to disguise their links as legitimate links.

5. Don't be fooled by the logo. Just because that email from your "credit card" company has the company logo, does not mean it really came from them.

Still not sure? Here is a quick quiz to take that can help you out. Be sure to investigate... and feel free to give them a fake name and email address. Just make one up. I was hanshot@greedofirst.com.

Jigsaw Phishing Quiz

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