Sick of spam? Aren’t we all. Recent phishing activity is on the rise, and Deadliest Catch can’t hold a crab to the profits spammers and hackers are reaping. Lean more about how to stay safe here.
By this time tomorrow, I’m pretty sure I’ll have more Equifax fishes in my inbox than SeaWorld feeds to Shamu in a year. Okay, they don’t actually call them fishes, but phishing emails are a real issue, and especially with the recent Equifax cyber security breach, there are more fake credit-report scammers out there than ever before.
Phishing is at the heart of cyber crime. It’s the easiest way to steal information, and it’s the most common. In fact, Phishing.org reports more than 100 billion spam emails are sent every day. That’s a lot of emails. How many do you receive per day? Hopefully less than I do.
Actually I don’t receive that many, thanks to the great email filter service that Fibernet provides. But if you do, you’re not alone. No one is free from the annoyances of spam and phishing emails. There is something you can do, however, to make sure you don’t become the victim of a phishing attack.
Vevo, the music video company, recently reported falling prey to a phishing scheme. Vevo is a joint venture between Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Abu Dhabi Media, Warner Music Group, and Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc. Even with big bucks and what feels like a YouTube monopoly, they still got hit hard. In fact, more than 3TB of data was stolen and posted online.
The method of attack against Vevo was a type of phishing called social engineering, and in this case targeted them on LinkedIn. This is actually a lot more common than you might think, and you might have even fallen for one before. All those suspicious-looking Facebook posts about an exclusive “goodbye video” from Robin Williams? FAKE. 5 Secret Fruits Doctors Won’t Tell You About? FAKE. Taylor Swift is giving away $1000 to each of her fans – Today Only! FAKE.
Don’t fall for that stuff. Here are some tips to remember:
First, THINK BEFORE YOU CLICK. Does this really matter? Is this an important thing to you? Were you searching for this in the first place? If you answer no to those questions, it might be a phishing scam. Even if it isn’t, you don’t need to click on it, and it will probably save you 10 minutes. Who knows? Might even save you money, or your computer.
Second, Verify website’s security. This isn’t a “trust but verify” situation. This is more along the lines of “verify but verify”. Go ahead and check the SSL certificate. Is it valid? Is it from a reputable certificate authority? If it isn’t, might think twice before doing anything else on that site.
Third, be wary of suspicious-looking links. The link can say “Click here to get your free money” or even “next page” but if it looks fishy (phishy), don’t click on it. Instead, right click, and copy it. Paste in into a redirect revealer, like Wheredoesthislinkgo.com, or use a traceroute like NWTools.com. If it doesn’t check out like you want, guess you shouldn’t go there.
These seem like lame suggestions, but they will help you stay safe from social engineering and phishing schemes. Don’t become part of the statistic.