Don’t Disclose Your Personal Information
Perhaps the single most effective thing you can do to protect yourself against phishing is to make it your policy to never respond to a request to disclose your personal account information. Ever. No matter how convincing it looks or what the email threatens to do if you don’t respond by some specific time. Always think of email as an unsecured, unverified form of communication because, at the present time, it’s too easy to fake and abuse. (Should you receive anything that appears to come from HVFCU you can also check our website, call our phone system to listen for an alert message, or call or email our Contact Center to confirm if a communication is legitimate.)
We have evaluated some online tools that can help protect you from phishing schemes. Below are some tools worth mentioning.
Anti-phishing Browser Capabilities
Most popular browsers now incorporate anti-phishing lookup capabilities. They do this by submitting the URL (aka the web address, such as www.google.com) that you type against a database of known phishing sites. A match will result in a warning message. Some people turn off this protection due to the perceived privacy issue of submitting your browsing habits. In truth, browsing habits can be tracked in other ways (including with cookies) and the benefits of checking the site you are going to against a known list of malicious sites is valuable. We recommend you leave this setting on. Consult the documentation for the version of browser you are using for more information.
In place of this, as well as in addition to this, you may submit a URL to VirusTotal to see if it is in their database. To do this, browse to www.virustotal.com – URL-submission. Results will not guarantee that a URL you submit is not malicious, but will let you know if it already known to be malicious.
This free download is available through the Microsoft website and removes and blocks malware and spyware from your computer.
This is another free download (available at http://www.sandboxie.com/), and it creates a protected environment that can prevent malware from installing on your computer.