Double-check that spam filter: In the wake of recent high-profile data breaches, you could be exposed to potential phishing scams.
Phishing occurs when scammers send e-mails that appear to be from legitimate companies in an attempt to acquire your personal information, such as account numbers. The scams can become even more deceptive -- and convincing -- when crooks obtain and use your name to target messages directly to you.
Take these steps to protect your personal information from phishing attempts:
* Avoid links. Links contained in suspicious e-mails could direct you to fraudulent websites or to dangerous malware.
* Don't share information. Legitimate companies will never ask for sensitive information via e-mail.
* Talk it over. Make sure all family members with an e-mail address know how to spot a phishing e-mail.
* Get secure. Before submitting personal or financial information online, look for https at the beginning of a URL to know a website is secure.
* Watch for errors. E-mails that contain frequent spelling mistakes or poor grammar usually signal a scam.
* Don't wire money. Never wire money in response to an e-mail request or to anyone you don't know.
* Protect your computer. Update and run antivirus programs regularly.
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