Technology moves at break-neck speed.  Every time I turn around there is something new for me to learn or do.  Couple those changes with nefarious attempts to collect and use my personally identifiable information and I’ve entered the cyberthreat zone.  What can you and I do to protect our name and information?  Here are a few simple tips:

  • Never open an email attachment when you do not know the person sending the message.  Think twice about the title, the way the subject or file name is written “emojis, special characters, misspelled words”, the action requested “can you call me at this number?” and the expedience “asap” of the message.  Often, these mistakes are the tell-tale sign of a phishing attempt.  Check the number to see if it is that person’s number.  Look at the email address to confirm it is the right email for that person and never allow them to control the speed of your response.
  • If someone “spoofs (hacks an email) someone you know” and sends you an email asking for your cell phone number, don’t oblige them.  This is a newer scam used to bypass email while hiding their true identity from you. This is done to coerce or convince you to buy and send them gift cards as they are too busy or in a meeting and need it asap.
  • If you get an email in your mailbox that has multiple recipients, but you do not know those other recipients, check to see if the names are in alphabetical order.  If so, the person who sent the message was likely hacked and their address book was compromised.  Delete the message.  If you know the sender, you might consider picking up the phone and calling them to let them know that their email has been compromised.

With due-diligence, we can reduce scams that steal data while collecting our private information.