Front Page|Our Services|Our Team|Client Center|Financial News|Events|Contact Us

Financial News

More Articles  Printer Friendly Version

 

Protect Yourself Against Spearphishing

The U.S. Justice Department charged 12 Russian military officers today in a history-making spearphishing scam. The 12 defendants are charged with conspiring to interfere with the 2016 presidential election by stealing information from email accounts of volunteers and employees of a U.S. presidential campaign. While the scam may sound sophisticated, it is a simple digital fraud and anyone using email can be attacked if they’re not cautious. Here's how to protect yourself.

With spearphishing, a hacker sends you an email message that tricks you into disclosing your username and password to a secure account.

The email looks like it comes from a legitimate source, such as Microsoft, Federal Express, or other companies you trust. For instance, as shown above, you might receive a message that your email inbox is "99% full." If you're in a rush or simply not a sophisticated computer user, you might just click on the link to clean up your email inbox. You may not realize that this message is a fraud and clicking on the link installs a malicious program on your computer that records your keystrokes and sends hackers your passwords.

Many variations of these schemes exist and new ones keep appearing so fast that security software programs cannot keep up. Perhaps the most important way to thwart a spearphishing attack is by carefully examining links in emails before clicking.

Hovering over the "Clean Up Mailbox" link in this example displays a link to a strange website and not your email program. If the link is unfamiliar, don't click on it.

Another popular spearphishing scam is notifying you about a package. Here again, hovering over the link in the email displays a website address that is absolutely, positively not Federal Express.

Notably, the email account from which this message was sent is not a legitimate FederalExpress.com account.

Often the "from" email address will tip you off to a fraud.

Phishing emails until recently were easy to spot because they commonly contained misspellings and grammatical mistakes. A scan of hundreds of recent phishing messages indicates fewer telltale signs. The scammers are getting smarter.

While the cat versus mouse hunt to protect against spearphishing lately has been won by the evildoers, software solutions are growing stronger. For example, Microsoft Office 365 online users now have a new way of designating a message as Phishing. This new feature of "blacklisting" a malicious message prevents that same scam from hitting you again and gives Microsoft information about its origin. Of course, anti-virus software is a must.

In addition, two-factor authentication is becoming more widely used. This requires you to verify your activities using a cell phone in combination with an email address or website login. It is not foolproof, but it is much more difficult to hack.

If you ever have any questions about information you receive from us by email, please do not hesitate to call us.


Email this article to a friend


Index
This Week In Stocks And The Economy
Analyzing The Risk Of Stocks After The 6.9% Drop
A Timely Tax Tactic For Business Owners
Fed Chair: "We Remain In Extraordinary Times."
With The S&P 500 Up 7.2% In 3Q18, What's Driving Stocks?
Pre-Retirees To Convert To IRAs More Often
Economic Facts To Prepare For The Elections
Widespread Misinformation Follows Household Median Income Report
Protect Yourself Against Spearphishing
Investment Wisdom At A Poignant Moment In History
Good Economic Surprises Happening Now
Economic Facts To Prepare For The Elections
Another Member Of Music Royalty Dies With No Will
Top 10 Indications The Economic Outlook Is Brighter Than Expected
Wealth And Economic News This Week (2-Minute Read)
10 Things: New Education Tax Breaks For A Child Or Grandchild

This article was written by a professional financial journalist for Vantage Point Financial Services, LLC and is not intended as legal or investment advice.

©2018 Advisor Products Inc. All Rights Reserved.
© 2018 Vantage Point Financial Services, LLC | 329 Regency Ridge Drive, , Centerville, OH 45459 | All rights reserved
P: 937-432-1111 | F: 937-432-1110 markblack@vantagepointadvisor.com |
Contact Us

Privacy Policy

Securities offered through First Allied Securities, Inc., A Registered Broker/Dealer, Member: FINRA/SIPC.  Advisory services are offered through First Allied Advisory Services, Inc., A Registered Investment Adviser.

This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security which may be referenced herein.  We suggest that you consult with your financial or tax advisor with regard to your individual situation.  This site has been published in the United States for resident of the United States.  Persons mentioned in this site may only transact business in states in which they have been properly registered or are exempt from registration.