KIYC: Phishing scams are more prevalent this time of year. Here’s how to limit the damage.
An estimated 3.4 billion phishing messages are sent out every day by scammers trying to steal victims’ money or personal information. While the safest course of action is to ignore them, a leading cybersecurity expert says people who do click on links in phishing messages can limit the damage if they act quickly.
“The first thing you want to do is probably just disconnect from the internet,” says Scott Schober, who has written several books about cybersecurity issues. “If you're really nervous, and you're not a computer user that is that savvy, just disconnect from the internet before anything else can happen, such as a malicious link that can be downloaded.”
Schober says if you’re redirected to a page that asks for personal information, don’t provide it, and immediately change any passwords you may have entered. Some websites can automatically download malware to your computer or device, so Schober also recommends getting offline and doing a full virus scan.
“If you're not certain, call for help,” he says. “I always say ‘phone a friend,’ you may have a buddy or a friend it's a little more IT savvy,” Schober says.
Phishing scams happen all year round, but Schober says they’re more likely to be effective during the holiday shopping season when so many of us are shopping online. Kane In Your Corner will look at holiday scams and how to prevent them, next week.
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