Scammers are constantly trying to steal your personal information. One way they do this is by Phishing. This is a method of trying to get people's private information such as their credit card number or their bank passwords. They pretend to be a reputable company asking you to change something on your account. When you click on the link it takes you to a site that resembles the original. It is really a scammer site that will collect your info.
Falling victim to a phishing attack can be devastating. By the time you realize what has happened someone has your information and can empty your bank account, or they can max out your credit card. There are ways you can protect yourself from becoming victim of a phishing attack.
Check the links you click on. Make sure you are on the intended website before entering your personal information. Scammers will make a spoof site and the address will be very similar to the original site. Be aware of this.
Be careful of email phishing attempts. Your bank, credit card company, etc. are not going to email you for your social security number or password. The IRS is never going to contact you by email requesting personal information. These are all just attempts at stealing your personal information. If you are unsure whether an email is legitimate manually type in the web address to the company yourself. Never click on a link in the email.
Change your passwords regularly. Keeping the same password for a long period of time will make it easier for someone to steal. Change your passwords on a regular basis. Do not make your password something that would be simple to guess, like your spouse or child's name. Add letters and numbers to make your password harder to guess.
Let companies know that someone is sending out these phishing attempts. Often the company will have an address for you to forward the email to.
There will continue to be people trying to get your personal information through phishing. You must learn to recognize these attempts and not fall victim to them. Phishing attempts are more frequent around the holidays, so be on the look out.