Going phishing – hook, line and sinker

By Mark Molzen

By John Knies, Director and Chief Information Security Officer
and Michael Glenn, Director of Cyber Defense

Online security can be an intimidating subject for many. However, there are some basic, easy steps you can take to increase your level of online security. CenturyLink has combed the Internet in order to bring you the most helpful online security tips, tricks and practices. Today’s blog covers an increasingly popular and dangerous threat to Internet security – phishing.

Phishing is one of the fastest growing forms of Internet fraud. It is a criminal activity that uses e-mail or instant messaging to acquire personal information such as your Social Security number, user IDs and passwords. The concept behind phishing involves leveraging a trusted relationship between you and a familiar business in order to lure you into revealing sensitive information. An e-mail message may include text urgently asking you to “verify your account” or “confirm billing information,” but actually contains malicious links to another website. Once you have clicked on the link or supplied personal information, the phisher has access to your accounts. Once the phisher has access to this information, your chances of becoming a victim of identity theft triple.

Tips to avoid phishing scams
• Avoid responding to spam asking for personal information.
• Be wary of e-mails that contain links to websites.
• Never fill out a form in an e-mail asking for personal information.
• Only use secure online websites for online transactions (look for a lock near the url)
• Promptly review bank statements and credit card statements for accuracy of charges.
• Make sure you review your credit report on a yearly basis – if not more often.

For additional tips on Internet security, feel free to visit

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