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Smell Phishy? It Likely Is.

On internet time, phishing has been around as long as … well, actual fishing.

Phishing is a fraudulent email sent from what appears to be a reputable source but that is actually sent by cybercriminals. They hope you’ll click links in the email and give up personal information, passwords and / or credit card numbers – which they can sell or use for fraudulent purchases and / or identity theft.

The bad news? Phishing emails look more and more like the real deal every day. The good news? Many browsers have built-in security protocols. Plus, taking easy preventive steps – and a few extra seconds to look closely at potentially dangerous emails – can protect you from phish bait. Here are some ways to stay safe when you’re online with Wintek’s blazing-fast internet speeds or wherever you’re connected.

  • Think before you click: Is the email or message from a random person you don’t know? Is the URL suspicious? Are names and words misspelled? Are logos missing? Does the email ask for your password? Don’t click anything. When in doubt, conduct business at a company’s official, secure website.
  • Seek signs of safety: Secure website URLs begin with “https” and include a closed lock icon in the address bar. You can also see if the site has a security certificate. Most browsers advise against visiting ones that don’t. If you get such a message, don’t visit the website.
  • Be wary of pop-ups: Use a pop-up blocker. If one still comes up, click the X in its upper corner to close the box. Don’t click “cancel” or a similar word, which could link to the dangerous site anyway.
  • Update browsers and operating systems: Putting this off means missing out on security patches that close loopholes cybercriminals could exploit. Download and install them as they’re available.
  • Keep up-to-date on accounts: Regularly check online accounts, bank statements and credit reports to ensure no one is making bogus transactions in your name.
  • Freeze your credit: Ice out identity thieves. Prevent them from opening new credit lines in your name without additional information only you can provide. Indiana residents can freeze their credit for free.
  • Use strong passwords or a password manager: This is one of the most common internet rules because it’s one of the most important. Strong passwords and / or management services offer excellent security.
Nick Rogers

Nick Rogers

Nick Rogers is Tipmont's Communication Manager. He joined Tipmont REMC in 2021. Nick has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In a previous life, he covered arts & entertainment and continues to publish film reviews. He loves movies (big shocker!) as well as rooting for the Chicago Cubs and trying new restaurants. He lives in Lafayette with his wife and dogs.

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April 2, 2024
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