How to avoid phishing

I recently received an email from Google on how to avoid phishing, or attempts by criminals to fraudulently collect passwords, credit card numbers, and other sensitive information through email.

Here are some basic tips on how to avoid these scams:

  • Don’t reply to or click on links in emails that ask for personal, financial, or account information.
  • Check the message headers. The From: address and the Return-path should reference the same source.
  • Instead of clicking on the links in emails, go to the websites directly by typing the web address into your browser, cutting and pasting it, or using bookmarks.
  • If on a secure page, look for “https” at the beginning of the URL and the padlock icon in the browser.
  • Keep your computer’s antivirus, spyware, browser, and security patches up to date, and regularly run system scans.
  • Review your accounts regularly and check for unauthorized activity.
  • Use a browser that has a phishing filter (Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Opera).