SHCC WYSIWYG Article from April 2006

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This article was written by Don VanSyckel, the club president, as a part of "The President's Pen".  This article appeared in the April 2006 WYSIWYG newsletter.

Don't Get Caught by Phishing

by Don VanSyckel

Happy Spring!! It's finally here. As the weather continues to improve it will soon be fishing season here in Michigan. Actually it's been phishing season all winter, pun intended. Have you received any emails asking for personal info? I have and it went in the trash immediately. Phishing generally refers to people trying to entice you, usually via email, to give them personal information about yourself as well as information about financial accounts. Many times an email claims to be from a company you actually do business with and the email want you to visit a web site. The web site will be designed to appear like the company's actual web site.

Things to remember: All the financial institutions you deal with have all your required information on file. They are not going to send you an email asking for it. If you are unsure call customer support at a phone number you're sure is legitimate, not one from the email. They are not going to ask you to go to a web site, particularly if you carefully check the URL it won't be at the actual financial institutions web site. Some legitimate URLs can be virtually reproduced but with a country code at the end. You might think you just don't understand the URL, well you do. Anything extra on the end is actually part of the URL and it makes the URL different.

The people doing the phishing can produce some very convincing emails and web sites. The best protection you have is being alert and remembering the above. The first line of defense is you.

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