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Something "Phishy" Is Going On...


You always hear that everything is stored in "The Cloud". Well the cloud is not some puffy ball that floats endlessly in the air without anyone being able to get to it. It is actually a larger computer where all your personal data is stored. All it takes to access this cloud is a single password or in some cases, a single click of your mouse. Hackers and thieves can access your entire identity using a process called Phishing.

What is "Phishing"?

Phishing is a scam which an e-mail user is tricked into revealing confidential information which the scammer can use illicitly.

In other words, it is an email that looks like it could be very legitimate but in fact is a “Phishy” email. These emails can look professional with a legit logo and even your name.

Don't Get Hooked!

Here are a few tips to keep your adventure through the internet a secure and safe one.

· Never give out personal, financial or other sensitive information to anyone who requests it. Make sure that you’re using a secure Web site when submitting sensitive information. To make sure you’re on a secure Web server, check the URL in your browser’s address bar — it should begin with “https://” rather than the typical “http://”. Also, there should be a closed-padlock image in the browser’s status bar. To ensure that the padlock image is not fake, double click on it and examine the Web site’s security certificate.

· Be suspicious of e-mail that requests sensitive information because most organizations stopped making such requests via e-mail long ago because this tactic is used in phishing and spoofing schemes. If an e-mail asks for sensitive information, it most likely is a phishing attempt.

· Don’t click on links embedded in an e-mail that seems to come from a bank, financial institution or e-commerce vendor. In other words, for even a remote possibility of that e-mail being spoofed, don’t click on any links in it. Open a new browser window and manually type the site’s URL in the address bar.

· Enter a fake password. When prompted for a password, give an incorrect one first. A legitimate site will not accept the fake, but the phishing site will.

· Keep your browser and operating system up to date with the most current patches available. Phishing attempts exploit browser vulnerabilities to fool users and install malicious code. Take note of this, especially if using Microsoft Internet Explorer.

· Always use updated antivirus and firewall software to protect yourself from phishing attempts that try to surreptitiously install malicious software such as key loggers on your machine.

· When in doubt, check. If you doubt the authenticity of a message, check directly with the institution.

This is where HOP Solutions can help.

If you are unsure if your PC is up to date, bring your machine to us. We can run a few quick tests to see what your computer is in need of to keep you and your personal information safe.

Walk-in anytime! No Appointment Needed!

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