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How to Avoid Phishing Attempts

We are under “attack” and we need your help. Over the last few weeks, we have noticed an increase in suspicious email activity. Email is often used to spread malware, spam and phishing attacks. Scammers fraudulently entice recipients to part with sensitive information, open attachments or click on hyperlinks that install malware on the victim’s device.

The motive behind an email phishing campaign is usually to get people to reveal financial information, credentials, or other sensitive data. The attackers in these “phishing attempts” masquerade as trusted entities that we perceive to be legitimate in our line of work. Phishing is extremely prevalent because it is cheap, easy and effective.

Here are some best practices for identifying and avoiding phishing emails:

  1. Pay attention to the “To” and “From” fields of a message.
    • If the “To” field is blank, shows numerous recipients or “undisclosed recipients,” it is probably a spam or malicious message. Please also pay attention to seemingly benign changes to the “From” address, e.g.@freed0mforever.com instead of @freedomforever.com.
  1. Do not open or click on attachments and/or links in unexpected emails.
    • Malicious email often contains the name of a contact someone knows, but with an altered email address. Someone receiving a message stating “open this attachment” from Bill Smith, who they know but haven’t communicated with in 12 months is an unexpected email and immediately suspect.
    • Do not enter your Freedom Forever username or password to attempt to gain access to one of these “secure documents.”
  1. Scan all attachments for viruses and dangerous code.
  2. Verify shared links to ensure that they do not lead to fraudulent or malicious websites.

If you believe you have received a suspicious email, “Act Smart, Not Fast,” and please do the following:

  1. Forward the suspicious email to your email domain’s spam mailbox: spam@freedomforever.com
  1. Report the message as phishing in Outlook
    • In the message list, select the message or messages you want to report.
    • Above the reading pane, select Junk > Phishing > Report to report the message sender.

Note: When you mark a message as phishing, it reports the sender but doesn't block them from sending you messages in the future. To block the sender, you need to add them to your blocked senders list. 

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