by Jeanine Vecchiarelli return to JayVee Media Link LLC
Staying safe online is becoming a more daunting task with each passing day. Reports of malicious activities are steadily increasing, and perpetrators are becoming more resourceful in their efforts to part us from our sensitive personal information. Every one of us can likely count multiple examples we’ve witnessed recently among some of the most popular vehicles for malicious activity:
The number one way to avoid becoming victims of scams such as these is to remember that the messages are not true. They are fabrications meant to entice us to click their accompanying links. If we harbor any doubts at all, instead of clicking we should use a link expander such as LongURL. Pasting the message’s link into such a tool enables us to see its long form version. In most cases that should offer all the convincing we need.
Do know that even if our names are taken for spoofing it doesn’t necessarily mean that our accounts were hacked. If the email addresses attached to malicious messages are not ours, chances are the perpetrators just took our names to mask their dirty work.
The only way to protect ourselves against spoofing attacks is to treat every message attachment, regardless of from whom it appears to come, as though it was coming from strangers. Unless we are expecting to receive one, we need to message our contacts to confirm they did indeed send us an attachment.
1. No reputable business will ask us to reply to its email messages or click links contained within them to supply personal information. If the messages request such info in that manner DO NOT RESPOND. Report/forward the messages to the actual business sites that are being impersonated, then delete them.
2. For confirmation and peace of mind, it is advisable to check any of our sites we suspect may be victims of impersonation. This needs to be done by opening a new tab in our browsers and manually typing in the URL for these sites. Never, NEVER attempt to visit them by clicking links provided in suspicious emails. Chances are excellent they will take us somewhere we do not want to go.
What form of suspicious communication have you received most recently? How did you handle it? Please share your experiences in the comments section below.