Oakland, CA April 20, 2012—Celebrating National Look-A-Like Day might be fun but it can also be dangerous. Make sure what you are looking at is the real thing and not the imitation.
Especially when looking at an email. Cybercrimes are intrusive and frequent. 96% of the 50 companies annually studied by the Ponemon Institute in its cyber-crime study experienced malware attacks and 82% experienced botnets and 30% experienced phishing/social engineering.
Before clicking any links are providing any information requested you should check for some the following:
• Language that is informal or uncharacteristically unprofessional for the size of the apparent institution
– Look for misspellings and typos
– Look for missing words and unpolished grammar
• Urgent instructions to take specified action
– “Click on the link or your account will be closed”
– “Supply requested details to remove this charge from your credit card …”
– “You will not be able to access your <your bank name> account without <your bank name> Online Banking Tool after …”
• Generic greeting
– Messages beginning with “Dear Member” or “Valued Customer” are likely phish attempts.
– Legitimate business emails are far more likely to address you by name.
• Request leaves you feeling something is not right
– Most financial institutions and service providers will NEVER contact you by telephone or email to ask you for your sensitive account details.
– You don’t even have an account with the company the email appears to have come from.
Remember if you are concerned it is better safe than sorry and if you have been a victim of a cyber attack do a virus scan of your computer and follow the instructions to clear your system as fast as possible.
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