October is National Cyber Security Month. Phishing can lead to private information being accessed and stolen. The best way to avoid phishing is to never reveal personal information via email. A legitimate company will NEVER ask you to send information via email. If you receive an email from an unknown sender do not click on links; rather, hover your mouse over the link. If the link takes you to a site that you recognize, you are OK, otherwise be cautious. If you aren’t sure if an email is legitimate try to verify it by contacting the company directly. If you believe your information has been stolen report it immediately to minimize damage.



Beware of Phishing Scam!

  • Do not reveal personal or financial information in email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information. This includes following links sent in email.
  • Pay attention to the URL of a website. Malicious websites may look identical to a legitimate site, but the URL may use a variation in spelling or a different domain (e.g., .com vs. .net).
  • If you are unsure whether an email request is legitimate, try to verify it by contacting the company directly. Do not use contact information provided on a website connected to the request; instead, check previous statements for contact information.
  • Install and maintain anti-virus software, firewalls, and email filters to educe some of this traffic.
  • Take advantage of any anti-phishing features offered by your email client and web browser.

What do you do if you've been scammed?

  • If you believe you might have revealed sensitive information about your organization, report it to the appropriate people within the organization, including network administrators. They can be alert for any suspicious or unusual activity.
  • If you believe your financial accounts may be compromised, contact your financial institution immediately and close any accounts that may have been compromised. Watch for any unexplainable charges to your account.
  • Immediately change any passwords you might have revealed. If you used the same password for multiple resources, make sure to change it for each account, and do not use that password in the future.
  • Consider reporting the attack to the police, and file a report with the Federal Trade Commission (http://www.ftc.gov/).
Content produced in part by US-CERT, http://ics-cert.us-cert.gov/