Tips for Safe Emailing on the Internet

Last modified on Oct 17, 2013

Tips for Safe Internet Banking

 A new breed of hacker is on the prowl.  Armed with sophisticated software and a desire to defraud, the only thing that stands between them and access to your online account is your cooperation.  How?  The crooks want you to click on a dangerous link within an E-mail to download their malware.

 *        Be careful what you click.  Most malware is delivered via E-mail that contains a link or attachment.

*        If a link looks suspicious, use the mouse pointer to hover over it.  The true destination will appear.  It may not be what you think.

*        Do not open E-mail purporting to be from NACHA, IRS, Federal Reserve, FinCEN or a host of other government entities.  Those organizations do not communicate directly with consumers via E-mail.

*        Other well-known phishing hooks include messages from UPS, VISA, Master Card or some vendor claiming that something that you did not order has shipped and “click here” for details.  Always contact the vendor directly for confirmation instead of clicking on a link.

*        Use the front door. That is, manually type the known URL for the organization you want to reach, (instead of clicking on a link).

*        Carefully consider the source and content of the E-mail.  A friend or colleague’s computer may be infected and E-mail sent from that computer may be spreading malware.   Call the person to confirm he or she sent the message if you’re not sure it is legitimate.

*        The best defense is to remain invisible. To minimize the risk of encountering malware, get a separate computer for online banking and use it for that purpose only.  Do not use it for E-mail (including web mail like Gmail).  Do not use it for browsing.  Ban your kids from it.  Most malware is delivered via E-mail messages or infected web-sites.  If you don’t browse or E-mail, your computer is unlikely to become infected.

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