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As we start off our new year Iíd like to remind everyone how diligent we must be to guard against scams. The recent infamous John Podesta email hack was accomplished by a combination of an insecure password and being a victim of a phishing scheme.

Getting tricked by phishing scams ó The worst email habit by far is assuming a sender is who they say they are. This is especially true when an unexpected email lands in your inbox and asks you to provide sensitive information or claims to update you on a shipment you never made.

This is a phishing attack, and itís one of the more common email scams today. Phishing attacks are email messages designed to trick you into giving up information or opening an attachment, either by asking you to complete and submit a form on a look-alike website or to respond to the sender with sensitive or confidential information.

Thankfully, phishing emails have a few telltale signs. First, check the email account associated with the sender in the ďfromĒ section. You can do this by hovering over the senderís name. If the email address is off, includes an ending similar to ď,Ē or has an alias, itís possible that it is a phishing attack. Other signs include mismatched URL addresses in hyperlinks, urgent calls-to-action or attempts to intimidate you through email. Believe it or not, poor spelling and bad grammar are other telltale signs as well.

Another recent scam is, what appears to be a company executive, asks you to send secret company info or transfer wired company funds by replying to the email for instructions. The reply email address looks valid, but a hidden entry in the email header redirects the reply to a scammer. These are harder to spot using the above techniques. Itís ok to be suspicious and follow up with a phone call to verify an emailís validity.

Thank you for your time, and letís all have a happy and safe 2017!


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