Avoiding Phishing: Six Tips and Tricks

Phishing is more common than you’d think. Photo Credit / Janice Tieperman
Phishing is more common than you’d think. Photo Credit / Janice Tieperman
Phishing is more common than you’d think. Photo Credit / Janice Tieperman

Phishing is more common than you’d think.
Photo Credit / Janice Tieperman

By Samantha Werkheiser
Assistant Editor-in-Chief

The campus police suggest following some of these steps to avoid phishing scams:

1. Determine if the phone call, text message or email is suspicious.

a. Scammers will often ask for sensitive material that they should already have, such as banks asking for your routing number.

b. Other times, the message will attempt to incite some sort of panic or will use a threatening tone to make you act fast. In these situations, call the organization to determine if the message was legitimate or not.

Oftentimes, the organization may want to investigate these suspicious messages themselves.

If left with a phone number from the possible scammer, cross-reference it with the number you have in your records.

2. Check the message for any grammar or spelling errors, phishing scams are not usually proofread before being sent out.

a. If the message is from a major business or organization, it is unlikely that there would be errors in it.

3. Examine the links or logos sent to you in suspicious emails.

They could take you to a non-legitimate website or cause you to download malicious or corrupted files.

a. Hover your cursor over the link or logo in the email, the true website address will appear below the link embedded in the email.

b. Refrain from clicking any links that end with the ͞exe͟ extension.

4. Examine the email address of the possible phishing scam. They will sometimes resemble a legitimate email, for example a real email will end in business.com, but a phishing email may end in trusted.business.com to attempt to trick you.

5. Only provide your personal information to websites that are secure to prevent the information from being seen or stolen by a malicious entity.

a. Make sure that the website you are using has https instead of http, ͞https͟ means that the website is secure.

b. The yellow padlock icon at the bottom of the screen also means that it is secure, double click on the icon to make sure the security certificate displays.

6. Check your bank account regularly to make sure that no changes or transactions have been made with your knowledge.

a. If you notice any unauthorized actions on your credit cards or bank account, notify the authorities and your bank or credit card company immediately.

This could prevent the scammers from continuing to use your information.

Email Samantha at:
swerkheis4@live.esu.edu

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