The Peoples Bank sponsored internet security training workshops for employees and customers in Pratt and other communities they service last week. Here are some of the top tips shared by Sean Tolle in Pratt, applicable to anyone using the internet regularly.
Fishing is a pretty good pastime but when bad people resort to phishing to steal information or money from people or business, it can lead to some very serious consequences. Clicking on the wrong part of a bad email can unleash a virus that can result in a scammer getting information that could cause problems.
Sean Tolle, The Peoples Bank technology department, does security awareness training for the bank employees so they can recognize phishing emails. He tests the employees once a month by sending out a test phishing email so they will know what to look for when a real one comes along.
Tolle shared his wisdom with bank employees, business people and community members at a special lecture on Feb. 27 at the Pratt Municipal Building.
Tolle said the people who send out phishing emails know how to make it look authentic. They can go online and simply copy official logos such as the FBI, UPS or Amazon. This makes the email appear to be legitimate.
People get lots of emails every day. Tolle said there are signals that it might be someone phishing. When receiving an unfamiliar e-mail, test the information on the e-mail with six questions:
• Were you expecting this e-mail?
• Is it trying to get you to do something?
• Does it incite an emotional response?
• Is there a sense of urgency?
• Does it seem out of the ordinary?
• Are the addresses and links what they claim to be?
The emotional response and a sense of urgency are important clues that his could be phishing. It’s a good idea to keep this list handy just to check emails that are unusual, Tolle said.
Some things to remember to stay safe from phishing emails are to be skeptical of every email.
“Trust your instincts. It things feel out of the ordinary, if something seems not right, check links before your click on them,” Tolle said. “Hover the cursor over the link and it will show you where the link is going to go. If it doesn’t seem like its right, don’t click on it.”
Also, don’t open attachments especially if they are aren’t expected or from strangers, Tolle said.
Tolle said people say they feel stupid if they do click on a phishing email but they shouldn’t feel that way. It’s a mistake that happens when people don’t take time to think things through and they simply don’t have the information to make a good decision, Tolle said.
Even Tolle, who does IT and looks for phishing for a living, is not immune from scammers. Tolle said he had placed an order with Amazon and was expecting a package. He received an email, apparently from Amazon, that said they had tried to deliver the package but no one was at home and they needed to schedule a place to leave the package. Tolle noticed the “From” address was Amazon but not the one they normally use so it was a phishing email.
When someone clicks on a connection in an email, a scammer can copy information from the computer and browse it at their convenience. Tolle had a fake situation set up and demonstrated how quickly a scammer could get access to information with just a click of a mouse.
When a scammer gains computer information, they can gain access to other information and actually get to information and data that the victim can’t access.
Privacy can be infringed on. Some scammers can gain access to the camera on the computer and turn it on and watch the operator. They can even move the mouse icon around, Tolle said.
The best protection against scammers is to know the scammers techniques. Some things to look for include an unusual time like 3 a.m., a subject line that doesn’t match the message content or was never requested, attachments that make no sense or were unexpected, someone unknown or rarely communicate with, suspicious domain, don’t know the person and a no trusted person will vouch for them, no business relation, unexpected attachment, message sent to unusual mix of people and more.