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How to Protect Yourself from Online Phishing Attacks

What is Phishing?

Phishing is the attempt by cybercriminals to steal your personal information—including usernames, passwords and credit card details—by posing as a legitimate company. Phishers may send emails asking you to click on a link to verify an account, update personal or financial information related to an existing account or to confirm an anticipated refund amount. Clicking on the link can enable phishers to extract sensitive information or install malware on your machine. Many phishers go as far as creating replicas of commercial websites.

How to help protect yourself from phishing

1. Keep your antivirus and spyware detection software up to date.

2. If you receive an email that links to a site that has records of your financial or otherwise sensitive information, it is best not to click on that link from that email, even if that email looks official. Instead, type the url directly into your browser.

3. If you notice a suspicious email don’t open it. If you think it is possibly legitimate, call the sender to verify.

4. If you do accidentally open a suspicious email or see a questionable pop-up, don’t click on any links or attachments.

5. Never include credit card numbers or other financial information in an email.

6. Check your online credit card and bank account transactions for unauthorized charges at least once a month.