Learn more about phishing and how you can protect your identity

By: Edward L. Blais, JD, CIC, CPIA

Now more than ever, cybersecurity should be on everyone’s mind. Whether you use the internet for school, work, or social engagement, it is critical to be on the lookout for potential cyber risks.

What is Phishing? 

This type of cybersecurity risk can occur via email, phone call, or text message. Phishing is when a bad actor pretends to be a legitimate person (family member, your financial institution, a government entity, or law enforcement) and attempts to trick you into divulging sensitive information or allowing them access to your computer.

How Can You Easily Spot a Phishing Scam?

  • Message appears to be too good to be true or conveys a heightened sense of urgency
  • Attachments or links are sent without warning. Be careful as most phishing links will typically distribute malicious viruses.
  • The sender knows you, but you do not know the sender.
  • Sender is seeking personal information (such as your birthdate, social security number, username/passwords, bank account information, etc.)
  • The sender’s email address and/or message contains errors, poor grammar, or misspellings/

If you are ever unsure regarding the legitimacy of an email, contact the individual by using the website, email address, or phone number you are familiar with. Never reply to the email address listed in the email itself.

Steps to Take if Your Personal Information is Compromised 

Once you realize that your sensitive, personal information has been compromised, immediately contact you bank or credit union, your credit card companies, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Social Security Administration. Additionally, if you believe that malware has been installed on your computer, have your computer cleaned of the malware by a professional in IT security. It is also a good idea to change all passwords for sites you regularly visit.

To learn more about how you can safeguard your personal information from cyberattacks, please click here to be directed to the Federal Trade Commissions’ Cybersecurity Basics information page.  

We also welcome you to call Blais Insurance at 725-0070 to learn how cyber liability insurance can help safeguard your personal information.