We strive to add value to all aspects of your financial wellness. This includes your financial security – protecting yourself from theft of your personal data and financial information. Below are some tips we hope are useful.
Learn How to Spot a Phishing E-mail
A phishing e-mail is when a scammer sends a fraudulent e-mail hoping to trick you into revealing sensitive information or downloading / clicking on something that will give them access to your information. The sender may pose as a company or even someone you know. Scammers are getting more sophisticated and may learn how a friend or family member speaks via e-mail to impersonate them.
Here are some common red flags that can be spotted in a phishing e-mail:
Think Before You Click
Think before you click applies not only to e-mails but to text messages and messages/posts through social media as well. Scammers can even spoof a phone number to make it look like a text message comes from a number you recognize. A scammer may ask for your personal information, ask you to click on a link that could install malware on your phone, or direct you to a fraudulent website asking for credentials that they can then steal.
Legitimate companies won’t ask you for personal information via text. Watch out for texts saying things like:
- We’ve noticed suspicious activity on your account
- There’s a problem with your payment information
- A payment has been made for XYZ. Contact us if you didn’t authorize this payment
- A package (that you are not expecting) has been sent. Click for tracking information.
If you think a message might be real, contact the company using a phone number or website you know is real.
There is additional information on filtering and reporting spam text messages on the FTC website.https://consumer.ftc.gov/articles/how-recognize-and-report-spam-text-messages
Secure Your Passwords
There are many helpful tips for secure passwords, including increasing password length and using a combination of upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols. You may have seen a chart like this showing how difficult it is for a hacker to crack a long and complex password!
Enable Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication is a method that requires two credentials to be entered to access an account. For example, you may be prompted to enter your password, followed by a code received via text message. The password is the first factor, and the code is the second factor used to authenticate your identity. Some websites are beginning to require two-factor authentication. However, for those that don’t require it you may be able to turn it on yourself in your account settings.