According to a 2015 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, more than 23% of people open phishing messages, and 11% open attachments in these messages. Now you may be asking, what is phishing? Phishing is the act of using fraudulent, but official looking, emails, text messages and websites to trick a consumer into click and providing their information.
You may have heard of the very recent example where human rights activist, Ahmed Mansoor, received text messages on his iPhone claiming to have “secrets” about people being tortured in the United Arab Emirates. Mansoor realized these were malicious messages and did not click on them, but this has prompted Apple to release security updates to protect against these newly discovered spyware tactics.
How can you protect yourself?
- No bank would ask you for confidential information via email or text message, so call your bank immediately if you receive a message asking for your social security number, account number or any other personally identifying information
- Rather than clicking on links in unsolicited emails, locate the website through a reputable search engine or type in a known address (i.e., cnn.com)
- Don’t open attachments from unfamiliar emails
- Beware of emails offering cut-rate prices on popular toys, software or other gifts—if the offer seems too good to be true, it probably is
- Make sure your device’s security software is up to date
- Regularly change your passwords, and make them long and strong
- Be aware of what is going on in the news in regards to scams