West Springfield Rotarians Warned About ‘Phishing’

Cyber crooks are out to steal our critical data – bank accounts, passwords, even tax refunds. Michael Drobnis, the CEO of OptfinITy, briefed the West Springfield Rotary Club’s virtual meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 4, about the techniques used by cyber criminals and measures we all can take to protect ourselves.

Risks for both companies and individuals are greater today than ever before because so many people are working from home, where their Internet security is generally not as effective as when working at the company location. One of the most common threats is “Phishing,” where an individual receives an email that appears to be from a legitimate site but isn’t. For example, the email may appear to be from your bank saying that their system has been hacked and asking you to verify your account information. When you do, the scammer may then know your account number and password.

A few things to look for to be sure you don’t get “phished” are:

  • If the email is addressed in a generic way (i.e. “Dear Sir”) – your bank or any organization that knows you would address you by name.
  • If the email says action is “urgent,” remember if it really was urgent, the organization would probably have called you.
  • Watch for misspellings – responsible senders check spellings and grammar. Many scammers are overseas and often English is a second language, so their scam emails often have glaring mistakes.

A good rule to protect yourself is “When in doubt, throw it out.”

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