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Learn More about How to Protect Your Information

Take appropriate steps to help secure your information. Familiarize yourself with online best practices and learn what to look for by using our resources below.

Phishing Overview

Phishing is the act of sending an email to a user falsely claiming to be an established and legitimate company in an attempt to trick the user into providing valuable personal data (credit card numbers, passwords, account information, etc.). The email often uses aggressive tactics as a way to entice the email recipient into visiting a fraudulent website, which generally looks much like a valid company website. See an example here. From there, the victim is instructed to enter confidential information that is then sent to the attacker and can be used to commit identity theft or financial fraud against the victim.

Protect Yourself from Phishing

Follow these steps:

  1. Use caution when clicking on hyperlinks embedded in email messages. They look legitimate, but will often redirect you to a fraudulent website.
  2. Be alert to hyperlinks that are misspelled, such as — or — Do not click on them.
  3. Use anti-virus, anti-spam, and anti-spyware software, as well as a personal firewall. Update these products regularly.
  4. Scan file attachments for viruses or malicious software before opening them.
  5. Routinely review and apply software security patches to your computer operating system and applications.
  6. Use the most current versions of Internet browsers.
  7. Choose secure passwords to protect your account information. They should be at least eight characters in length with a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. It should not be easily guessable.
  8. Change your password periodically to help reduce the likelihood that it can be guessed. Do not use the same password for multiple sites.
  9. Do not respond to emails that come from someone you do not know. If an email comes from someone you know, but you were not expecting it or it seems suspicious, contact the sender to confirm it was knowingly sent.

Frequently Asked Questions

View security FAQs

Additional Consumer Resources

Government Agencies

Credit Bureaus

Consumer Organizations