Financial Friday: How to recognize, avoid phishing scams

WAFF's Haley Baker reporting
Published: Oct. 7, 2022 at 1:15 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - October is recognized as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. The purpose is to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity across our nation, ensuring that all Americans have the resources they need to be safer and more secure online. This year’s theme focuses on the “people” part of cybersecurity and talks about 4 things you can do to be safe online.

WAFF talked to Ashish Baria. He’s the Senior Assistant Vice President for Information Security at Redstone Federal Credit Union. He says there are 4 things you can do to protect your information online.

  1. Enable Multi-Factor Authentication – Multi-factor authentication, also known as two-step verification is a security measure that requires anyone logging into an account to navigate a two-step process to prove their identity. This makes it difficult for cybercriminals to access your account if your password was compromised. When it’s available, always turn it on because it’s easy to do and greatly increases your security.
  2. Use Strong Passwords – Creating, storing, and remembering passwords is often a pain for a lot of individuals. But the truth is that passwords are your first line of defense against cybercriminals. Here are some guidelines for creating strong passwords. They should be long, unique, and complex. Don’t use the same one for all your sites.
  3. Update Your Software – Always update your software. We use several devices that help us simplify our lives - such as smartphones, voice assistance, smart TVs, refrigerators, and more. These devices can be a security risk if they are not protected and patched correctly. Make it Automatic - You can simply enable automatic updates, to ensure these devices stay up to date with the latest security patches. Watch out for fakes! - If you are browsing and come across a pop-up that wants you to call a number or update your software by clicking on a link, those are always fake and should not be followed.
  4. Recognize and Report Phishing – Phishing is a technique where cyber criminals use fake emails to lure you into clicking and providing them with your personal information or installing malicious software on your device. Look for these things to help determine if it is a phishing email.
  • Greed – The email will have some sort of financial reward. If the email offers you something that seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Urgency – The email will provide a strict deadline for performing an action.
  • Fear – These texts and emails will scare recipients to click on the link immediately or services will be suspended or terminated.
  • Confirm Personal Information – The email may ask you to confirm your pin number or CVV number on the back of your card.

Bottom Line: Everyone has a right to a safe internet, so remember to do your part and #BeCyberSmart.

For more ways to save, be sure to tune in at noon every Friday for WAFF 48′s “Financial Friday” segment.