Wednesday, October 17, 2018

First off, Merry Xmas all!
Now that the pleasantries are out of the way, as the title states, and this can never be said too much...Beware of Phishing Scams!
To quote Wikipedia's entry for Phishing - "Phishing is the attempt to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication"
It occurred to me a few days ago that some of you out there may not be aware of what to look for to help protect yourself from these bottom feeders (coincidentally, right after I received a fairly well done phishing email). So I decided it was time for a new article and I made some screenshots that will give you a good idea of some things to look for.
These guys go out of their way to make things look legitimate, like in the first screenshot below of a phishing attempt to collect my AppleID info
Now, depending on the browser you are using (this example shows how Internet Explorer handled it) you may indeed get a warning page like the one in the second screenshot below.
But you may not, especially if it's a new scam that hasn't been reported or caught yet. Which brings us to what to look for. The FIRST place you always want to check is the address bar, this is critical and can save you many headaches down the road. The third screenshot below is a perfect example of why.
As you can see that link in the email did NOT take me to apple.com. Always...Always...and in case I didn't say it ALWAYS check the address bar!!! There are other critical things you want to look for also, are they asking for credit card information? Are they asking for bank information? Are they asking personal questions such as SSN or your mother's maiden name? Any respectable company either won't ask this information at all, or will go through a multi-step verification process that verifies who you are before asking this information. Also, while not always the case, broken or very poor English can be a dead giveaway. The best protection above all else will alays be if in doubt...DON'T CLICK IT! if you think its legitimate, give me or any other computer tech a call, ask them to look at it, or forward it to them to check out. Better safe than sorry!

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