Prepare yourself, family from cyber criminals

by 1st Lt. Justin Anderson 86th Communications Squadron

Cyber criminals continue using phishing and spear-phishing attacks, and their tactics are evolving in an increasingly predatory manner.

Cybersecurity training helps prepare you to deal with a suspicious email. But is your family prepared? How about your parents? Could they recognize a phishing email? Rather than directly targeting you, criminals are tracking and mining social media such as Facebook and Linkedln to interact with people and compromise accounts.

Phishing continues to be successful because attackers do more research, evolve their tactics and seek out easy prey. We need to arm ourselves and our families with the defensive skills and knowledge to protect them from being victimized by a phishing email, computer or phone scam.

• Never trust links or account/password prompts within email messages

• Phishing emails sometimes have poor grammar or misspelled words

• Do not trust: Verify threatening emails or phone calls

• Never provide your user identification and/or password

• Refuse social media connection requests from anyone you haven’t personally met

• Make use of spam filters for your personal email

• Never email personal or financial information (even if you know the person)

• Be wary of pop-ups … don’t click links or enter any data

• Don’t copy web addresses from a pop-up into a browser

• Don’t click on links, download files or open attachments

For additional resources on how to protect you and your families, visit