The internet has transformed the way we live and work. From online shopping to remote work, the digital landscape offers unprecedented convenience and opportunities. However, with these benefits also come certain risks, including the ever-present threat of internet-based scams. As a locally owned, leading, fiber-to-the-home internet company in Warsaw, Indiana, we are lucky to talk with our customers daily. Unfortunately, some Kosciusko Connect subscribers have shared with us their recent experiences with scammers.
Cybercriminals have honed their skills to exploit unsuspecting individuals, seeking to steal personal information, money, and even identities. We don’t want you to fall victim to these predatory criminals. We want to help you spot scams instantly and shut them down. In this new blog series, we will delve into different types of online scams that individuals and businesses should be aware of, starting with one of the most common and deceptive ones: phishing scams.
Phishing is a type of cyber-attack where scammers attempt to deceive individuals into revealing sensitive information, such as passwords, credit card numbers, or Social Security numbers. This is often done by posing as a legitimate entity, such as a bank, a government agency, or even a well-known company like Kosciusko Connect. The attackers use various methods to lure victims into clicking on malicious links, downloading harmful attachments, or providing their personal data directly.
Phishing scams come in many forms, each designed to manipulate victims' trust and emotions. Some examples include:
Email Scams: You might receive an email that appears to be from your bank, requesting you to verify your account details by clicking on a link. These links lead to fake websites that collect your information.
Fake Prize Notifications: Scammers may inform you that you've won a prize or a contest, asking for personal information or a fee to claim your winnings.
Tech Support Scams: You might get a pop-up on your computer claiming to be from a tech support company, warning you of a virus and prompting you to call a specific number. These scammers aim to gain access to your computer and personal information.
Protecting yourself from phishing scams requires a combination of caution and knowledge. Here are some tips to help you steer clear of potential traps:
Double-Check the Sender: Before clicking on any links or providing personal information, carefully inspect the sender's email address. Legitimate organizations typically have domain-specific emails, not generic ones.
Hover over Links: Hover your cursor over links in emails to reveal the actual web address. Be wary of misspellings or URLs that seem slightly off.
Don't Share Sensitive Information: Reputable companies won't ask for sensitive information like passwords or Social Security numbers via email.
Stay Informed: Regularly educate yourself about the latest phishing tactics. Scammers are always adapting, so staying informed is crucial. The Federal Trade Commission consumer protection division is a wealth of information when it comes to phishing and other types of scams.
If you encounter a phishing attempt, it's important to report it.
Forward phishing emails to email@example.com. Let the company or person that was impersonated know about the phishing scheme. And report it to the FTC at FTC.gov/Complaint.
Contact the company. If you receive an email from a company you're familiar with but suspect it's a scam, reach out to the company directly through official channels to verify. By erring on the side of caution, you can significantly reduce your risk of falling victim to phishing scams.
Phishing is a significant threat in the digital landscape. Take a proactive stance against cybercriminals by staying vigilant, double-checking communications, and reporting any suspicious activity. Remember, your online security is paramount, and at Kosciusko Connect, we are committed to helping you stay safe while enjoying the benefits of our fast, fiber internet. Stay tuned for our next blog post in this series, where we'll explore another prevalent online scam and how to protect yourself from it.
If you're a Kosciusko Connect customer, consider adding Guardian Protection to your plan to help protect all devices connected to your home network against cyber threats. This add-on to the Kosciusko Connect app is powered by ProtectIQ which won the Cyber Defense Magazine 2022 Global InfoSec Award for "Best in Anti-Phishing, Network Security, and Management."
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