“I am prince of Nigeria and I offer you exclusive business deal,” is, to most of us, an obvious scam. “Hey Sally, can you do me a quick favor? I’ll be in meetings all day, so let me know by email. Thx, Harry” is stealthier (if your name is Sally and you have a friend or coworker named Harry). As scammers are getting more sophisticated, so must we. Here are three tips to keep your computer and your personal information safe:
1.Click links sparingly
Marketers and scammers alike know how to make a link enticing enough for you to click. Link-clicking is the fastest way to get a computer virus or fraud-facilitating malware. If you receive an email requesting you to unlock your account (“just click here and enter your login information”) or inviting you to a personal sale (“Don’t miss out, click here!”), it is safer to go to your browser and navigate to the website than it is to click any links in your email.
2. If it looks legitimate, still be suspicious!
Were you expecting this email? Is this within the pattern of your relationship with the sender? If you hover over the email address with your mouse, does the info that pops up match what shows on the email itself? Does the domain really say gmail.com, or does it say grnail.com? That is the type of subtlety that could mean the difference between a ransomware installation and a “mark as spam” decision. If it looks like it’s from someone you know, it can’t hurt to call the person and ask before clicking.
3. Do not share personal information by email
Remember the advice to never give your credit card number over an incoming phone call? That advice has grown broader: never – and we mean NEVER – give any personal financial information over email. This includes account numbers, Social Security number, credit card numbers, tax information, and more. It also includes email attachments. When in doubt, upload the data to a secure vault or provide it over the telephone.
A little extra caution up front may be inconvenient, but inconvenience is the price we pay for informational security. Awareness and cyber hygiene are premiums that are well worth the expense for the insurance they give against cybercrime.
IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION
Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by Pathway Financial Advisors, LLC-“Pathway”), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Pathway. Please remember that if you are a Pathway client, it remains your responsibility to advise Pathway, in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing/evaluating/revising our previous recommendations and/or services, or if you would like to impose, add, or to modify any reasonable restrictions to our investment advisory services. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. Pathway is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the Pathway’s current written disclosure Brochure discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request. Please Note: Pathway does not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party, whether linked to Pathway’s web site or blog or incorporated herein, and takes no responsibility for any such content. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly.