Phishing And You: Don’t Get Reeled In

by Geek Squad Agent on ‎11-19-2011 01:50 PM - last edited on ‎07-14-2016 11:28 AM by Geek Squad Agent (12,481 Views)

As Geek Squad Agents it is our duty to protect and serve. In an effort to keep your accounts and your personal information safe, we are providing information on how to identify and avoid phishing scams. This helpful guide will not only protect you as you participate in the Sweepstakes hosted by Best Buy, but will prepare you to keep an eye out for many phishing scams that are commonly found online every day.

 

Phishing sites are an Internet-wide problem. These sham websites or links may come to your attention by email, tweets or social network “posts” that look authentic. These little links will take you to a website that will look identical to a legitimate site.  It could be your favorite social networking site, a website you regularly use for shopping, or even your bank’s website.

 

However, these are fake sites designed by criminals to steal personal and account information.  The fake site will commonly encourage you to login using your credentials or perhaps update your credit card. If you were to provide that information it goes straight into the scammer’s pocket.

 

Phishing sites also present themselves as seasonal or one-of-a-kind offers that require registration. Unfortunately, the Best Buy sweepstakes is exactly the kind of high-profile offer these scammers like to imitate.

 

Geek Squad has compiled some useful information on the most effective ways to safeguard your online identity:

 

  • If you are contacted and asked to “verify” your account, never click a link in an email. These links often take you to the fake phishing website set up to be identical to the official site. Instead, open a new web browser and type the address to the site yourself. Remember that a company will never ask you for your login credentials via email.
  • Read the message thoroughly. Typos and grammar mistakes are tell-tale signs that you’re reading a fake message.
  • If the message was sent to you in a generic fashion such as “Dear customer” or “Dear player” etc. the warning flags should go up that you might be reading a fake email.
  • Use different a password on every account. If you use the same passwords it can be a downward spiral after the culprit gets your login credentials. For example, they gain your information via Facebook, and later find they can use this information to log into your email account.  For some tips and tricks on selecting strong passwords, check out Geek Squad’s “Keys to a Secure Password”.
  • If you’re logging onto your bank’s website (or another website that requires payment), it should always be encrypted and the beginning of the website address should have an s after Http, (Https://www) rather than http://www. in the URL.

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The s indicates the site is encrypted.

 

  • Always use an up to date browser, as using an older web browser can leave you susceptible to threats. Newer web browsers like IE 9 and Google Chrome feature built in anti-phishing protection.  If kept up to date they can help detect fake sites.
  • When in doubt, don’t click it. If you’re not sure, simply ignore the message or contact the company directly.

We hope that you find this information useful in safeguarding yourself against phishing scams.

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