Phishing… don’t take the bait

Sep 22, 2016 | Blog

Phishing… don’t take the bait hook, line and sinker.

Phishing is a social engineering technique utilized by hackers to maliciously gain access to your computer or company network by deception. Phishing is typically carried out by email spoofing or instant messaging, and it often directs users to enter details at a fake website that looks virtually identical to the legitimate one. Information requested on the bogus site may include user name, email address, password and phone number. The unsuspecting victim will provide this info as if they were logging onto the real site. Once it is entered the hook is set and the headaches, frustration and fear sets in. Case in point… you receive an email, that appears legitimate, indicating there is form to fill out, a document to view, or a response needed. From there, in order to accomplish the request, you are instructed to link to what appears to be a familiar site and then to login. The login is where your sensitive information is captured and the hacking begins.

In order to avoid taking the bait it is important to verify the website you are on is secure with SSL certification. In short, SSL Certificates, sometimes called digital certificates, are used to establish a secure encrypted connection between a browser (user’s computer) and a server (website). The SSL connection protects sensitive data, such as credit card information, exchanged during each visit (session).

How do you know if a website has SSL certification? In the URL search bar or address bar there will be a green padlock symbol in front of https:// If the symbol is absent then the site you are on is not secure. You may also receive a prompt telling you the site is not secure and do you wish to proceed.

The take away message from all of this is to never provide sensitive information on a site that may have questions in regards to security even if it looks authentic and you believe it to be legitimate. Before you ever provide private information, take a minute, take a deep breath and double check the authenticity and security of the site you are on. It is far better to make the extra effort to verify than to willingly assume and be regretfully sorry later.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phishing

ZBx Technology can help with security concerns. Contact us: 616-594-7100 or sales@zbxtech.com

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