October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and NBT Bank is educating the community on protecting themselves from an increasing number of phishing attempts.
Phishing is the fraudulent use of email to attempt to gather personal information, such as passwords and account numbers. The email may look like it came from a company – like a financial institution. However, upon close investigation, the email address is not from the financial institution. Consumers may also notice typos and grammatical mistakes or formatting that doesn’t match with previous emails from the same company.
These fraudulent emails ask you to provide personal information, such as login credentials or a Social Security number. A legitimate message from a financial institution would never make this type of request!
Because many consumers use the same user name and password for all of their online accounts, if a phishing scam obtains your login credentials for one site, they will likely be able to access more of your accounts.
It’s critical to use different credentials for different websites, update passwords often, use multi-factor authentication whenever possible and never use the same password for all of your accounts – especially banking.
Banks invest in technology and people to protect against phishing and other fraud, but it’s important for consumers to be vigilant as well. We recommend the following:
• Never share personal information online.
• Do not click on links or attachments in emails you don’t recognize.
• Delete suspicious emails.
• Check the company’s website for more information on fraud attempts and prevention (e.g., www.nbtbank.com/fraud).
senior vice president, director of information security and fraud risk, NBT Bank