October is Cyber Security Awareness Month
Play hard to get with strangers.
Cyber criminals cast wide nets with phishing tactics, hoping to drag in victims. Seemingly real emails from known institutions or personal contacts may ask for financial or personal information.
Cyber criminals will often offer a financial reward, threaten you if you don’t engage, or claim that someone is in need of help. Don’t fall for it! Keep your personal information as private as possible. If they have key details from your life—your job title, multiple email addresses, full name, and more that you may have published online somewhere—they can attempt a direct spear-phishing attack on you. Cyber criminals can also use social engineering with these details to try to manipulate you into skipping normal security protocols.
If you’re unsure who an email is from—even if the details appear accurate—do not respond, and do not click on any links or attachments found in that email. Always avoid sending sensitive information via email.
If you receive a suspicious email that appears to be from someone you know, reach out to that person directly on a separate secure platform. If the email comes from an organization but still looks ‘phishy,’ reach out to them via customer service to verify the communication.
*This information is courtesy of the Department of Homeland Security as part of the 2018 National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.