Nationalhcs works diligently to keep your information safe. Here are 4 tips to defend yourself against fraud.
Don’t believe everything you see. Scammers know that email is one of the most commonly utilized communications tools and they use that to their advantage.
- Don’t trust the display name that pops up in your email account – that is easily spoofed and scammers can make it say anything. Be cautious about trusted brands, logos, copyright, and legal disclaimers.
- Look but don’t click – hover your mouse over a hyperlink to see exactly where it will take you.
- Don’t click on links or attachments.
- If it smells “phishy” be extra vigilant – would the CEO of your company really ask you to transfer money? Would your boss really ask for a download of payroll information to be sent externally? Ask yourself (and then validate) if the request makes sense before acting. It is better to spend a bit of time confirming the request than much time trying to recover.
Don’t give out personal information to strangers
- Never give out your account information, SSN, credit card, bank information, PIN or password over the phone or through email/text. Most companies that collect sensitive information follow similar practices, so be extra careful when someone is asking.
- Double-check that any phone number or link provided to you in a text or email is valid before clicking on it or calling it. The best way to do this is to go directly to the company’s website and get the information independently. Call and or email to the information on their website.
Keep passwords safe
- Use a reputable password manager to electronically store very complex and unique passwords for each of your accounts.
- When creating your own passwords, make them easy for you to remember, but hard for others to guess. It’s best to use a phrase that is personal to you….your favorite song lyrics or line from a poem – and then substitute the letters for characters. Then, add in the account that you are using it for.
- For example, Tw!nk[eTw!nk[e[!ttle$tarAmazon or Tw!nk[eTw!nk[e[!ttle$tarEbay
- Don’t reuse your password across accounts. Scammers use stolen passwords and assume they can use them on other accounts too – and they are often right!
Manage your social settings
- Set your privacy settings on social media accounts to the strongest the system allows. Scammers can utilize publicly available information to find common answers to security questions – like your birthday, place of birth, and mother’s maiden name.
- Make sure you know who you are connecting with. Once you connect with someone on most sites, you are giving those connections more access to your information. If you see or suspect something suspicious, report it to the site.