The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is warning people against phishing schemes. Perpetrators use email or malicious websites to lure victims to click on links that infect victims' computers with malware and viruses that collect personal and financial information.
Here are some tips from DHS on how to protect yourself:
1) When in doubt, throw it out: If an email or online post looks suspicious, even if you know the source, delete it. Contact companies directly to verify that emails are legitimate. It is easy for a cybercriminal to cut and paste the logo of a well-known company
2) Think first: Do not trust communications that pressure you to act immediately, offer something that sounds too good to be true, or requests personal information. Perpetrators rely on a sense of urgency to prompt unwise responses.
3) Use stronger authentication: Always choose the toughest authentication measures available, especially on accounts with sensitive information. Methods like two-step authentication help verify that a user has the proper authority to access an online account.
4) Make passwords long and complex: Combine capital and lowercase letters, along with numbers and symbols, to create more secure passwords. You can find online password generators or password manuals to help.
5) Install anti-virus software-and keep it updated: All of your computers should be equipped with anti-virus software, firewalls, email filters and anti-spyware. You must ensure these tools are regularly updated so criminals cannot take advantage of gaps in protection.
6) Be wary of hyperlinks: Instead of clicking on hyperlinks in emails, type the URL directly into the address bar of your web browser. If you opt to click on a link, check its authenticity first by hovering your cursor over it to see the full address and, thus, where the link will take you.
DISCLAIMER: Any information and recommendations contained in this communication have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. However, Lon Brown Insurance, Fearrin Insurance, Key Henson Jackson Insurance and Auto-Owners Insurance Group accepts no legal responsibility for the accuracy, sufficiency, or completeness of such information. Additional safety and health procedures may be required to comply with local, state, or federal law. Content in this document is not legal advice, nor does it amend the terms, conditions, or coverages of any insurance policy issued by herein above listed insurance agencies and/or companies. Materials provided by Auto Owners Insurance to Brown Insurance Group for use as an educational tool.