Something seems Phishy

Hasan Ahmed - 1B Nanotechnology
Posted on: January 28, 2017

Have you ever looked at the spam inbox of your email and wondered how stupid some people are to fall for those kinds of scams? Well, did you ever think that you may have already fallen for one? Scammers aren’t stupid. They know how to slip by the spam filters of your email service, and they can easily obtain your personal information in the most subtle of ways. So here are some tips to prevent phishing from happening to you.

  1. Make your passwords STRONG. They should be relatively long with special characters, numbers, lower and uppercase letters, and finally, unique. This will prevent password cracking codes from accessing your passwords using conventional methods.

  2. Don’t use the same pass for multiple stuff, especially important accounts. If someone gets access to one of your accounts, they may then have access to the rest, which can be detrimental, as you might not be able to reset the passwords from there if they can gain full access.

  3. If it ever asks you to sign into something, don’t click the link in the email. Always go directly from the site. Try not to click the link in your email either. If you’re really unsure, always right click and select “inspect element” to see the code. Fake sites usually have offsetting qualities. Check the site address and make sure it’s https: if it’s a secure server. Always ALWAYS double check the hyperlink for spelling mistakes and wrong characters.

  4. Check the source of the email. I used to get a lot of emails from Scotiabank, which I found pretty odd considering I was a BMO customer. Just because it’s “official” doesn’t mean its real. Have your doubts, and call banks/companies directly if you’re ever unsure.

  5. Change your passwords if you’re unsure if you’ve lost any info. Accidentally clicked that suspicious link and are now paranoid that your details have been swiped? Change your password, regardless if it’s true or not.

  6. Check for malware and spyware on your computer. Be careful with what you download and be sure to uninstall anything that seems sketchy. Some antiviruses work well, like Bitdefender, or HitmanPro.

  7. Don’t be afraid of “scare tactics” like accounts shutting down, service delay, etc. You’d probably know about those directly from a source. Again, if you’re ever unsure, contact the company directly.

  8. Finally, report phishing campaigns when possible. It’s really easy to report spam email, and takes a few seconds to do. Don’t just toss it in your junk. Notify the email service so you can prevent these emails from showing in your inbox (and others) again.

With WaterlooWorks, Office365, and a plethora of other passwords you have that are super vital to your career/advancement, it’s super important that you keep your identity safe. Also inform everyone around you (especially your parents) and double check if they get similar emails. Remember to always stay safe on the internet!