Phishing is a criminal activity designed to obtain credit card numbers, passwords and other sensitive data from unsuspecting individuals.
Masquerading as a trustworthy business, phishers will send official-looking emails to a large number of email addresses with the expectation that some people will take the bait and follow the instructions. In a typical scam, recipients are told to click on a link and proceed to a website where they are asked to verify or update account information. The fraudulent site will often mimic or ‘spoof’ the look of a well-known company.
Early phishing emails were easily spotted by their misspellings and crude formatting but today’s fraudulent emails and websites may be highly polished and difficult to distinguish from legitimate communications. So whether at home or work, be alert. If you have any concerns, play it safe and contact the organization that supposedly sent the email.
Data Security Best Practices
Data security is not a one-and-done occurrence but a mindset that is constantly reinforced by best practices, such as:
- Using hard-to-guess passwords (or better yet, passphrases) and changing them regularly
- Using powerful Internet security programs on your computers that update automatically
- Limiting information access to only those who need it to perform their duties
Contributed by Vanco Payment Solutions. Through the Michigan Chamber’s partnership with Vanco, you have the opportunity to accept credit, debit and other electronically based transactions at just 0.2% above cost. Email Vanco Payment Solutions or call them at 866-944-0055 to learn more.