Do your part. #BeCyberSmart
Let’s face it: Humans cannot live without their phones, gadgets, and technology. On average, Americans check their phones 96 times per day. If you do the math, that’s once every 10 minutes. Together with Cass County Electric Cooperative, it’s time to do your part to stay safe online and on your phone. We gathered a few tips to help you learn the different types of schemes and common tricks cyberattackers are using today. Follow these tips to do your part in protecting each other’s information.
Phishing is a type of cyberattack that uses a disguised email or text as a weapon. The goal is to trick the recipient into believing the message is something they want or need – a bank request, contest win notification, or note from their CEO leadind them to click on the link or download an attachment. A crisis, like the pandemic, gives attackers a hook to reel in their bait.
There are several steps you can take and mindsets you should get into that will keep you from becoming a phishing statistic, including:
- Always check the spelling of the URLs in email links before you click or enter sensitive information.
- Watch out for fake or cloned websites, they look similar, but the web address does not match.
- If you receive an email from a known source, but it seems suspicious, contact that source via call, text, or message their known social media account.
- Don’t post personal data, like your birthday, vacation plans, home address, or phone number publicly on social media.
It’s not uncommon to receive a text from an unknown number trying to trick you into revealing personal information. Scammers are using multiple tactics to acquire your passwords, account numbers, and Social Security number. Scammers are smooth and use stories that correlate with current events, such as the election, a package pick-up notice, fake invoices, or promises to pay off student loans. Nine times out of 10, scammers will ask you to click on a link that could install harmful malware onto your device, and like a ghost, you will not realize that it’s stealing your personal information.
Dealing with smishing
The first thing you should do when you receive a link from an unexpected text message is to slow down. Do not click on any links! If the company is legitimate, they will not ask for your personal information through a text message. To verify the text message information, call the company directly using the phone number on their website. When in doubt, do not click the link and delete the message. There are a few ways to report spam.
- Report it directly on your phone-look for the report junk or spam button
- Copy the message and forward it to 7726 (SPAM)
- Please report it to the Federal Trade Commission