How do you avoid being a victim?
- Be suspicious of unsolicited phone calls, visits, or email messages from individuals asking about employees or other internal information. If an unknown individual claims to be from a legitimate organization, try to verify his or her identity directly with the company.
- Do not reveal personal or financial information in email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information. This includes following links sent in email.
- Don’t send sensitive information over the Internet before checking a website’s security, ensuring the address bar shows HTTPS://
- Pay attention to the URL of a website. Malicious websites may look identical to a legitimate site, but the URL may use a variation in spelling or a different domain (e.g., .com vs. .net). Look carefully at the letters–the letter “i” can be easily mistaken for an “l”
- Install and maintain anti-virus software, firewalls, and email filters to reduce some of this traffic (see Understanding Firewalls, Understanding Anti-Virus Software, and Reducing Spam for more information).
- Take advantage of any anti-phishing features offered by your email client and web browser.
What do you do if you think you are a victim?
- If you believe you might have revealed sensitive information about your organization, report it to the appropriate people within the organization, including network administrators. They can be alert for any suspicious or unusual activity.
- If you believe your financial accounts may be compromised, contact your financial institution immediately and close any accounts that may have been compromised. Watch for any unexplainable charges to your account.
- Immediately change any passwords you might have revealed. If you used the same password for multiple resources, make sure to change it for each account, and do not use that password in the future.
- Watch for other signs of identity theft (see Preventing and Responding to Identity Theft for more information).
- Consider reporting the attack to the police, and file a report with the Federal Trade Commission (http://www.ftc.gov/).