It has been a long time since I went fishing, and I prefer to use corn as bait because I do not like to touch worms. Though, when my brother had a worm business, I would gather them by the dozen out of the Styrofoam chest for customers when he was out riding his bike. Years later when I went fishing with my husband, he baited my hook or I used corn.
Phishing, on the other hand, is when someone attempts to obtain sensitive personal information from you through email by pretending to be a legitimate business. They might try to get your usernames, passwords, account numbers or even social security number. No bank, no credit card company, no employer is going to ask you to provide sensitive information like that via e-mail. When you receive a suspect e-mail asking you to click on a link, hold your mouse pointer over the link. Often, you will notice the web address is not linked back to an authentic business. It is best never to click on links asking for financial information.
On the Department of Homeland Security, you can find information about National Cyber Security Awareness Month, which is this month.
Stop. Think. Connect.™ is the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) campaign theme. You can find resources on its website to help educate about cyber security. We must keep ourselves and our family members safe from those phishing worms.
Ways to stay safe include creating complex passwords and change them frequently. Don’t use the same password for every account. Consider using a password manager. Set your security settings to ensure you are sharing only what you want to share. Remember to delete any suspicious e-mails and posts. If you suspect one of your friends has been hacked—evidenced by a strange email that seems to come from them, but you know better—let them know.
Be safe. Continue to fish, but don’t become a phishing victim. Do you have any whoppers to share about fishing or phishing?
Gwen Edwards is serving a second term on the Women of the ELCA executive board and lives in Bellevue, Nebraska.
Photo by Chris Martin, used with permission