(406) 652-4180 • 1320 28th Street West, Billings, MT

Phishing, Don't Take the Bait

Phishing has become one of the most common threats online, fooling even the most tech-savvy and cautious users.

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Email phishing attempts are so dangerous because they can lead to the theft of sensitive personal data like your social security number or banking accounts and can even put your business at risk.

Why brute force your account when hackers can trick you into giving your information up?

Phishing starts by a "spoofed" email users receive that appear to come from legitimate websites, like banks, credit card companies, or even social networks like Facebook. The email informs the user their account is somehow at risk or requires verification and they need to log in to their account to reset their password. This email can even link users to a subsequent "spoofed" website which has been setup for the sole purpose of stealing your info.

Your inbox is now more valuable than your bank account. With access to your inbox, attackers can not only get into your bank accounts but can get access to your entire online identity including ecommerce sites, credit cards, social networks, and even service providers.

With phishing and hacking attempts on the rise, the best thing users can do is to make yourself less of a target.

How to protect yourself

  • Never respond or "reply-to" emails that request personal or sensitive information.

  • Actually type the website URL into your browser instead of relying on links in emails

  • Make sure the site is using a Secure Certificate or SSL. Look for an "https:" in the address bar.

  • Be cautious about opening attachments and downloading files from emails, NO MATTER WHO they come from.

  • Regularly log into your online accounts and view your statements

  • Don't use the same password more than once, especially for your inbox

  • Use 2-factor or multifactor authentication whenever possible. Check your email provider to see how to enable and use.

  • Check the access logs in your online email account like Gmail, Outlook, Hotmail, or Yahoo. They will tell you when and what IP address has accessed your account.

  • Report suspicious activity or known phishing attempts to the company being spoofed, your internet provider, Google, Yahoo, and even the FBI. The longer a phishing attempt is going, the more it can damage.

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Darnielle Insurance is available to answer your questions. We are located at 1320 28th Street West, Billings, MT 59102. Give us a call at 406-652-4180.

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