Don't get caught by "phishing" emails
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Welcome to our March edition of the ASAP Inkjets 'Computer & Printer Tips' newsletter.
It's the middle of March and getting close to tax time again. (Yep, it's here again already.)
April 15th is right around the corner, and the deadline of our yearly duty is coming quickly.
For those of you who use a software program such as TurboTax to help do your tax returns, you'll likely be giving your printer a workout sometime over the next couple of weeks.
Keep us in mind when you're in need of replacment printer ink. We'll help take the sting out of taxes with our low everyday prices on printer cartridges.
This month's feature article is on the topic of "phishing". (pronounced "fishing")
(insert marginally funny pun here)
It's something that all internet users should be aware of in order to protect yourself from evil-doers trying to gain access to sensitive information.
It's a good read, and I highly recommend you take the time to check it out. I've seen many of these types of emails, and some of them can look VERY legitimate when they're not.
With that said... Onto our feature article.
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FEATURE ARTICLE: Don't Get Caught by "Phishing" Emails
What is a "Phishing" email?
"Phishing" emails are emails that appear to be from authentic companies but are not. The goal of these types of emails is to trick you into giving out some of your personal information.
Be cautious when you receive an email with links prompting you to log onto a website. Phishing scams can take the form of emails or pop-up windows that are crafted to trick you into revealing your social security number, account log in, or password information.
Generally, they'll say something like "someone tried accessing your account, please log in to verify your information."
The perpetrators have become very sophisticated in recent years. Some of these phony emails include graphic logos and some content from of legitimate company websites. Sometimes the actual employee names may be listed as well making the emails look no different from an email from the real actual company. Ebay, Paypal, and banks seem to be the favorite targets of scammers.
I work and live online and still have to remind myself of a few golden rules when going through my email inbox, especially when I'm tired.
If you do not recognize the sender of the email - be skeptical and cautious (businesses can't always do this obviously)
If you open a suspicious email accidentally, avoid clicking on any links. By clicking on the email links, you may possibly trigger the installation of some spyware onto your computer if the sender is a fake.
You can download a free copy of Ad-aware (by Lavasoft) that will zap that type of intrusion among others. Normally, I would put a link to the site but I want to try to prove a point and give you some practice. Just do a google search for "lavasoft".
Another way you can tell if a web site link is legitimate is if you hover the mouse cursor over the link and see the address that shows up on the bottom left corner of your screen. It should start with "http://www.companyname.com". If it does not, it may be redirecting you to a fictitious site.
In a case where you are unsure, it's best to type the website URL directly into your browser (e.g. http://www.ebay.com/), or use a search engine.
Scammers sometimes randomly generate email addresses, which explains how you may have received fake emails that appear to be from banks you don't know or have never used. Email addresses can also be gathered from online chat rooms, online auctions, directories or web pages. You should be aware that just because the return email address is legitimate, doesn't mean the whole email is.
If you are familiar with the sender of the email and are being prompted to log onto your account, it is always better to go to their web site directly or use a bookmark than use the link. You should still be able to find out if there is a legitimate issue by visiting the website directly and going to your account area.
Generaally, legitimate banks don't email you asking you to update your account information or log in - this is the #1 Phishing scam I have seen to date. Phishing emails from "Fifth Third Bank", "Chase", or "Bank of America" may show up in your inbox one day.
The Paypal "update your account information" email is another very common phishing scam that many people have seen. Again, go to the web site directly; Type it in your browser. It's best to never provide ANY personal information after clicking a link in an email.
I don't want to scare anyone from opening their email, but many people are not informed, which makes them very susceptible to these high tech schemes.
My word of advice, is just to be cautious about any unexpected emails asking you to verify any personal information or sensitive account details.
About The Author
Bob Stephens writes for ASAP Inkjets. ASAP Inkjets offers ink cartridges & toner at up to 80% off. Signup for their free newsletter for tips & discount coupons at: http://www.asapinkjets.com/ or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Ok, we hope that you enjoyed this month's issue.
Please feel free to pass this newsletter on to whomever you think might benefit from it. It's very important information for anyone who is fairly new to the internet.
I'll see you next month!
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