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 0212 Internet Safety: Protecting our Seniors   

How to Avoid Phishing Scams

By Madison Police Department Technology Committee

Online job-hunting scams:
Phishing scams might appear as a phony job ad, used to convince job hunters to send them personal information. If you’re job-hunting online, here are some easy ways to keep yourself safe: 
• Never provide any non-work related personal information such as your social security number, credit card number, date of birth, home address, and marital status online, through email, over the phone, in a fax, or on your resume.
• Verify a prospective employer, recruiter, or recruiting agency through another source such as the Better Business Bureau or a phone book, and then contact them directly.
• Beware of anyone who asks you for money up front in exchange for finding work for you. You should never have to pay for “exclusive” job leads or for a job itself.
• Create an exclusive web-based email address and account for all non-personal communication.

Donation Scams:
Natural disasters, political campaigns, and global health issues are often the focus of donation phishing scams. Here are a few ways to avoid donation scams:
• If you receive an unsolicited email message from a charitable organization asking for money. Don’t open any attachments or click any links.
• Double-check the spelling of the organization’s website in the address bar before looking through the site. Spoofed websites often use deliberate, easily overlooked misspellings to deceive users.
• Make sure that there is a tiny closed padlock in the address bar, or on the lower-right corner of the window.
• If you are using Internet Explorer, one sign of trustworthiness is that the address bar turns green and displays both https and the closed padlock.
• Improve your computer’s defenses by always using firewall, antivirus, and antispyware software, and making sure to download and install updates for all of your software. Use automatic updates so you don’t have to manually install the updates.


 
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