HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF AGAINST PHISHING SCAMS AND IDENTITY THEFT
Do you know what phishing is? Knowledge is power and here’s some information to arm you in the fight to protect your data and identity.

WHAT IS PHISHING?
Phishing refers to different types of online scams that phish for your personal and financial information (e.g., your passwords, Social Security Number, bank account information, credit card numbers, or other personal information).

These messages claim to come from a legitimate source: a well-known software company, online payment service, bank, or other reputable institution. Some will use an organizations email address, logo, and other trademarks to fake authenticity. Phishing messages may also appear to be from a trusted friend or colleague.

Phishing messages can come from a growing number of sources, including:
– Email
– Phone calls
– Fraudulent software (e.g, anti-virus)
– Social Media messages (e.g., Facebook, Twitter)
– Advertisements
– Text messages

WHAT IS SPEAR PHISHING?
More sophisticated attacks, known as spear phishing, are personalized messages from scammers posing as people or institutions that you trust. They often collect identifiable information about you from social media or the compromised account of someone you know to make their messages more convincing. Never transmit sensitive information over email or social media, even if the message requesting information appears to be legitimate.

SIGNS OF PHISHING INCLUDE:
– Ultimatum: An urgent warning attempts to intimidate you into responding without thinking. Warning – You will lose your email permanently unless you respond within 7 days.
– Incorrect URLs: Scammers may obscure URLs by using hyperlinks that appear to go to a reputable site. Hover your mouse over any suspicious links to view the address of the link. Illegitimate links often contain a series of numbers or unfamiliar web addresses.
– No signature or contact information: Additional contact information is not provided.
– Too good to be true offer: Messages about contests you did not enter or offers for goods or services at an unbelievable price are likely fraudulent.
– Style inconsistencies: Pop-up windows that claim to be from your operating system or other software may have a different style or colors than authentic notifications. Messages that claim to be from a reputable organization may be missing branding aspects such as a logo.
– Spelling, punctuation, or grammar errors: Some messages will include mistakes.
– Attention-grabbing titles: Clickbait titles (e.g., You will not believe this video) on social media, advertisements or articles are sensationalist or attention-grabbing and sometimes lead to scams.

WHAT ARE THE RISKS?
Do not be fooled. These are fraudulent communications that in most cases have nothing to do with the institution they claim to be affiliated with. Opening, replying, or clicking the links provided in these emails poses a serious security risk to you and or your company.

SOME OF THE RISKS INVOLVED ARE:
– Identity theft: Once you provide your personal information in response to a phishing attempt, this information can be used to access your financial accounts, make purchases, or secure loans in your name.
– Virus infections: Some fraudulent emails include links or attachments that, once clicked, download malicious software to your computer. Others may also install keystroke loggers that record your computer activity.
– Loss of personal data: Some phishing attacks will attempt to deploy crypto malware on your machine, malicious software that encrypts files on a victims computer and denies owners access to their files until they pay a ransom.
– Putting friends and family at risk: If your personal information is accessed, attackers will scan your accounts for personal information about your contacts and will in turn attempt to phish for their sensitive information. Phishers may also send emails and social media messages from your accounts in an attempt to gain information from your family, friends, and colleagues.

Do not be fooled. These emails do not come from Bank of the Pacific. They are fraudulent messages attempting to compromise your personal information.

Bank of the Pacific will never ask for your online password, full social security number, account number or other sensitive information via email or link.

NOTE: Email spam filters will intercept some fraudulent emails, but they are not foolproof. It is critical that you learn to identify phishing scams and take the appropriate steps to protect your computer and your information.

(Information from Bank of the Pacific alert and passed on for your protection)

Malwarebytes Pro can help!

You are always the first line of defense! Malwarebytes is a great tool to help protect you from many of the problems listed above and more. The free version is great but it is reactive instead of proactive. The paid version puts a guard up before the malware comes in while the free version attempts to fix it after it has already infected your computer.

Lifetime licenses are still available at our stores at a deep discount!
Malwarebytes Pro now has an annual cost of $25.00, but Second Time Around Computers still has lifetime licenses for under $50.00!
Call or come in and get protected today.
Call or visit us today at one of our two locations!
HP Elitebook 8460P with Core i5
$289.00 (limited Supply)
Need a tough laptop for you or your student?

There is a huge difference in laptops available today. The bulk of them offer decent speed but are lacking durability.

Your kids are packing their laptop back and forth to school and that is an accident waiting to happen.

Industrial class laptops are the solution. They are fast, great looking and tough. Here’s one we have on special right now.

Second Time Around Computers | 3863 Hannegan Road, #110 | Or 1732 Front St. Lynden Wa | Bellingham | WA | 98264