Be suspicious of the numbers on your smartphone when you receive calls.
Numbers can easily be faked to look like a government agency, your employer, a family member, or even your phone number! And in many cases, it’s legal!
Scammers use this tactic, called “vishing,” to get information about you or your employer.
Don’t assume callers are whom they say they are.
After you answer the phone, if there is a 1-2 second delay before someone responds, it's either a sales call or a scam.
Allow calls that show up as “unknown” to go to voicemail.
Make sure you set up a password to protect your voicemail.
If you're instructed to press a number to continue the call, hang up.
Consider subscribing to a caller ID app that prevents sales and scam calls from getting through on your smartphone.
For more ways to avoid becoming a victim of vishing calls,
click on the thumbnail image to download and print the PDF.
The tech news service ZDNET says that hackers are exploiting a bug in Microsoft Office 365 that was fixed long ago. Users can protect themselves simply by changing a setting on their personal computers. Microsoft apps, including Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint, can be set to update automatically, but many users haven’t activated the feature. To learn how, do a web search for “automatically update Microsoft Office” plus "Windows," "Chromebook," or "Mac," depending on the type of computer you use.
Here is why it’s important to be suspicious of emails that demand your username and password. PCMag says that last year, banks processed over a billion dollars in ransom payments to criminals who locked victims' computer files. Many of those incidents happened because employees submitted work-related passwords in response to a phishing email.
One of the biggest ransomware victims in recent months is Haines. The apparel maker paid $100 million to get production back online after hackers used ransomware to shut it down for three weeks. And Dropbox, the big file-sharing company, says it was hacked because one employee fell for a phishing email that appeared to originate from a trusted technology partner.
But you can avoid them
more than 99% of the time.
Take this five-question quiz and find out how.
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"How do I block inappropriate text messages I receive from unknown senders who use their email addresses to send them as a group text? My iPhone will block phone numbers, but I can’t seem to block an email address used in sending these texts. I end up deleting it."
It depends on the email program you’re using. With iPhone’s default “Mail” program, click on the three dots in the upper right corner and select “Report spam.” Then, click on the three dots to the right of the sender’s name and select “Block.”
"Recently, I received a letter through the mail asking me to provide a review for a product purchased through Amazon. If I provided a 5-star review on the Amazon website, they would send me either a gift card for use on Amazon or a free product. Is this a scam?"
A scam? Technically, no. A bad idea? Yes. You are trading your valued opinion for a gift card. And there is no guarantee that you’ll even receive the card — sometimes, the seller says you “have a chance of winning” one. Amazon penalizes sellers that operate this way because honest user reviews are essential.
"If my cell phone is stolen, what are the potential risks?"
If your phone isn’t protected with a passcode, you could quickly lose access to photos, emails, and even your bank and social media accounts. You could have your identity stolen. Whoever found it could sell it. So take these steps right now to protect yourself: set up a face or fingerprint scan to allow access to your phone, and turn on the “Find my phone” setting, so you’ll know where the phone is and can make it inoperable.
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