Email Safety

Email is a wonderful communication tool. It's quick, easy and inexpensive, but it is also a way criminals can try to gain access to your personal identification and information. One way this is done is through Phishing emails. These emails try to trick you into sharing your confidential information. Estimations show billions of dollars of financial loss due to phishing emails.

How to avoid phishing scams:

1. Don't trust email addresses – especially if you don't know the sender. Verify the sender before sharing or opening any attachments or clicking on links within the email.

2. Make sure you have a strong password on your email account. A strong password has upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters.

3. Avoid filling out forms in email messages. Contact the company cited in the email using a telephone number or by visiting the official Web site.

4. Avoid clicking on links in a suspicious email message. Instead, confirm the validity of all requests for confidential personal, financial or account information, particularly if they are made with an urgent or threatening tone.

5. Never send your personal information via an unsecured email or web page. Always check to see if there is an 's' after the http in the address bar and a padlock symbol at the bottom of the screen. Remember, legitimate companies will never ask you to send confidential information via email.

6. Always sign off from web sites (such as online banking).

7. Make sure the security features of your computer software, including your Web browser, are up-to-date. Software companies provide security updates to their products on an ongoing basis so make sure you are receiving them and updating your computer.