Identity theft is a growing concern for consumers. There are many ways for scammers to access your personal information, including viruses, spam, spyware, and adware. But there is another fast-growing computer security problem that cannot be caught by using anti-virus software. It is called "social engineering," and it involves using tricks to fool users into giving up sensitive information about themselves to steal their money or even their identity.
Phishing is one type of social engineering. Phishing involves a scammer sending an email that looks legitimate from a company you are already doing business with--Paypal, eBay, or your bank for instance. The crooks simply manipulate an email to look as if it has come directly from the company, with appropriate logos, colors, and other information. But within the email, there is also a link to a fraudulent website, designed to look as if it leads to the real company's website. There you will be asked to log into your account, allowing the thieves to capture your login and password information. They may also install a key logger, which records everything you type, sending that information back to them.
So how do you protect yourself from these types of scams? These tips will help keep your information private and out of the hands of these con artists.
- Never click on any link in an unsolicited email. It probably will take you to a bogus website or may even install malicious software on your computer.
- Don't trust email you receive from your financial institutions. Banks and brokerage houses today are wise to these scams and will not send you these types of emails. If you feel the need to contact your bank based on an email you receive, call them instead of clicking on a link in the email.
- Be wary of sites offering free software. Instead of free wallpapers or cursors, you may end up with dangerous software installed secretly on your computer. Even some sites offering security software are in fact designed to steal your information. Unless you are completely sure of the source, stay away from these types of websites.
At Hidden Pointe Apartments in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, we believe it’s important to live life vigorously. In order to do so, you must educate yourself regularly with lifestyle-enhancing tips such as these. With this blog post, we seek to improve your way of life through education that promotes self-care.