Spear Phishing Scams Hook Victims

Monday, July 04, 2011


Article by Adam Levin, Identity Theft 911

2011 has been the year of the data breach. With what seems like a new report of a data breach each day, scams are on the rise.

Identity Theft 911 Founder and Chairman Adam Levin talks to Pennsylvania's ABC 27 about what consumers should do to protect themselves:


Follow these tips to keep you - and your identity - safe while online:

  • Never open an email spam or other emails from unknown sources. They may contain viruses or other programs that will make your computer vulnerable to intrusion.
  • Never click on a link in an email claiming to come from a financial institution or business, and never provide personal or account data in response. The email may be a fake sent by "phishing" scammers.
  • Do not put any credit card numbers or any other personal information on any website that you are not familiar with and are not sure is authentic.
  • Be aware of techniques for redirecting website users to "cloned" replica sites without their knowledge, also known as "pharming." Watch for odd error messages, unexpected page layout or content or other strange site behavior.
  • Choose companies that provide secure transactions and have strong privacy and security policies.
  • If you bank or transact online, watch your accounts closely for signs of fraud. Encourage those businesses to adopt multi-layer authentication (not just user name/password) to protect your accounts and information.
  • To keep hackers from stealing information on your home computer: install a firewall; install virus protection software and keep it updated; keep administrative names and passwords updated; set wireless networks to "no broadcast"; and be sure to power down your computer when not in use.
  • Before disposing of your computer, remove all storage drives. Do not rely on the "delete" or trash function to remove files containing sensitive information.
  • Store personal files and data back-up securely in your home, especially if you have roommates, employ outside help, or have service work done in your home. Be sure to turn on all security settings built into your computer, and password-protect your computer and files with sensitive personal or account data.
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