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Clicking on Links – PhishING

We all get those emails with “click here” to access a file or website. In fact, we all have sent an email with a link to family, friends, and colleagues at some point in time. This practice used to be harmless and we had no reason to think anything of it.

However, now the bad guys have gotten smarter and have learned how to leverage our human nature to want to click on links. These “spoofed” emails are called Phishing attacks. You might be thinking I spelled the word “phish” wrong, but this is the technology spelling for such an attack.

Here is what can be done to avoid being phished and having personal information stolen.

  • Never click on links in an email, even from a trusted friend or colleague. Email accounts can be compromised or spoofed to look legitimate in order to get you to fall into the bad guy’s trap.
  • Hover over the link and see if it matches what is shown in the email message.
  • Copy the link into a notepad or manually type the link into your browser.
  • NEVER EVER click on a link from a financial institution saying to “reset an account, as it could be compromised”. All agencies, financial and otherwise, will leave a message on the account home screen if there is a problem with an account when logged in. They will never email client to reset an account.
  • Send links to a website URL that is not clickable to help protect the recipient.

These five tips are the most effective ways to avoid being caught in a phishing scam. To learn more or to report a phishing scam, please contact the Information Security Office at 916-808-5893 or iso@cityofsacramento.org.

To learn more about Phishing and how to report a possible Phishing email, see our Phishing Information Page:

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