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Category: Internet Filtering & Security

Important Safety Tips while Using Public WiFi

Safety Tips while using Public WiFi

You do not have very go far these days to access free public Wi-Fi. It is available in airports, libraries, cafes, hotels and government buildings. This is helpful but it is important for both adults and kids to make sure they do not trade safety and security for convenience. Just because the public building you are in is reputable, does not mean the Wi-Fi connection is secure.

When using your smart phone or computer in a public hotspot, you need to be careful to ensure the Wi-Fi network is encrypted. Otherwise, it opens you up to the risk of having your online accounts hacked. This could result in cyber thieves stealing your personal information.

Here are two basic safety tips to keep in mind to protect your information.  And then we will explore additional ways to stay safe while online in public.

1.  Check to see if the Public Wi-Fi Network is Secure.

As mentioned, we are not worried about the people who control the Wi-Fi network.  The risk is when others around us are in the business of hacking into the personal accounts using the network.  It could be the person sitting across from you in a coffee shop, or just outside on the street. 

If the public Wi-Fi network does not ask you to enter in a WPA or WPA2 password, the network is not secure. As you are probably thinking, this is most places.  The most common public Wi-Fi networks that require a password are internet providers with home you have an account.

2.  Make sure any website you are on has https at the beginning of URL.  

An example of this is https://youraccount.com or https://yourbank.com.  Secure websites will encrypt your information as you use the site.  Unsecured sites do not have the “s” in them, such as http:// (your information is not encrypted and kept safe if you don’t see the “s”)

Unsecured websites will also show a padlock that is unlocked.  Here is an example of what a secured website looks like.  Notice how with website URL with https also has a closed lock.

secure encrypted website

Clicking the lock will reveal more information about the secure site.  Now you can be sure you are on a secured website.

On a mobile website, it will look like this.

secure encrypted mobile website

If you are using a site that is not secure and locked, you open yourself up to hackers that can access your personal accounts and steal your data.  This could mean your name, address, phone number, address book and photos.

Hackers need see you on a public WiFi to be able to monitor our activity, so one sure fire way to to prevent this (regardless of being on an unsecured network) is to encrypt your data by using a trusted VPN. It can be turned on when you wish, such as when you are in public or traveling.

Here are ore ways to protect your personal information when using public Wi-Fi.

  • It is good idea to have different passwords for each of your online accounts. This way if a cyber thief gets a hold of your email and password on one of your accounts, they will be unable to log into other accounts using the same password.
  • Educate yourself on the various ways cyber attacks happen even when you are in the safety of your own home network, such as Phishing, Vishing and SMishing. Hacking through public WiFi is less common than these other methods used.
  • Do not email important information about yourself for any reason.  This includes credit card details, bank account information and your personal government ID number. You should never do this even if a network is secure, not even from home.
  • When accessing accounts in public, whether it is your own computer or a PC in a library, always log out when finished.
  • Take advantage of 2 step verification methods being offered within your personal accounts.  This will add further security because 2 step verification means you cannot log in until you enter a secret code that is sent to you by text or via the Google Authenticator App.

If you are in doubt about the security using any public Wi-Fi network or website, it is best to restrict your activity online to general use, such as searching Google while you are not logged into your Google account.

Do not log into any personal accounts and if you find it necessary to do so, disconnect from Wi-Fi and use your personal cell data.  Even then, it is always important to ensure the websites on your account pages start with https in the URL.  Most major accounts websites are secure, but if you do not see https something may be wrong.

If you are in doubt about the security using any public Wi-Fi network or website, it’s best to restrict your activity online to general use, such as searching Google while you are not logged into your Google account.

Don’t log into any other personal accounts and if you find it necessary to do so, disconnect from Wi-Fi and use your personal cell data.  Even then, it’s always important to ensure the websites on your account pages start with https in the url.  Most major accounts websites are secure, but if you don’t see https something may be wrong.   

You do not have very go far these days to access free public Wi-Fi. It is available in airports, libraries, cafes, hotels and government buildings. This is helpful but it is important for both adults and kids to make sure they do not trade safety and security for convenience. Just because the public building you are in is reputable, does not mean the Wi-Fi connection is secure.

When using your smart phone or computer in a public hotspot, you need to be careful to ensure the Wi-Fi network is encrypted. Otherwise, it opens you up to the risk of having your online accounts hacked. This could result in cyber thieves stealing your personal information.

Here are two basic safety tips to keep in mind to protect your information.  And then we will explore additional ways to stay safe while online in public.

1.  Check to see if the Public Wi-Fi Network is Secure.

As mentioned, we are not worried about the people who control the Wi-Fi network.  The risk is when others around us are in the business of hacking into the personal accounts using the network.  It could be the person sitting across from you in a coffee shop, or just outside on the street. 

If the public Wi-Fi network does not ask you to enter in a WPA or WPA2 password, the network is not secure. As you are probably thinking, this is most places.  The most common public Wi-Fi networks that require a password are internet providers with home you have an account.

2.  Make sure any website you are on has https at the beginning of URL.  

An example of this is https://youraccount.com or https://yourbank.com.  Secure websites will encrypt your information as you use the site.  Unsecured sites do not have the “s” in them, such as http:// (your information is not encrypted and kept safe if you don’t see the “s”)

Unsecured websites will also show a padlock that is unlocked.  Here is an example of what a secured website looks like.  Notice how with website URL with https also has a closed lock.

secure encrypted website

Clicking the lock will reveal more information about the secure site.  Now you can be sure you are on a secured website.

On a mobile website, it will look like this.

secure encrypted mobile website

If you are using a site that is not secure and locked, you open yourself up to hackers that can access your personal accounts and steal your data.  This could mean your name, address, phone number, address book and photos.

Hackers need see you on a public WiFi to be able to monitor our activity, so one sure fire way to to prevent this (regardless of being on an unsecured network) is to encrypt your data by using a trusted VPN. It can be turned on when you wish, such as when you are in public or traveling.

Here are ore ways to protect your personal information when using public Wi-Fi.

  • It is good idea to have different passwords for each of your online accounts. This way if a cyber thief gets a hold of your email and password on one of your accounts, they will be unable to log into other accounts using the same password.
  • Educate yourself on the various ways cyber attacks happen even when you are in the safety of your own home network, such as Phishing, Vishing and SMishing. Hacking through public WiFi is less common than these other methods used.
  • Do not email important information about yourself for any reason.  This includes credit card details, bank account information and your personal government ID number. You should never do this even if a network is secure, not even from home.
  • When accessing accounts in public, whether it is your own computer or a PC in a library, always log out when finished.
  • Take advantage of 2 step verification methods being offered within your personal accounts.  This will add further security because 2 step verification means you cannot log in until you enter a secret code that is sent to you by text or via the Google Authenticator App.

If you are in doubt about the security using any public Wi-Fi network or website, it is best to restrict your activity online to general use, such as searching Google while you are not logged into your Google account.

Do not log into any personal accounts and if you find it necessary to do so, disconnect from Wi-Fi and use your personal cell data.  Even then, it is always important to ensure the websites on your account pages start with https in the URL.  Most major accounts websites are secure, but if you do not see https something may be wrong.

If you are in doubt about the security using any public Wi-Fi network or website, it’s best to restrict your activity online to general use, such as searching Google while you are not logged into your Google account.

Don’t log into any other personal accounts and if you find it necessary to do so, disconnect from Wi-Fi and use your personal cell data.  Even then, it’s always important to ensure the websites on your account pages start with https in the url.  Most major accounts websites are secure, but if you don’t see https something may be wrong.   

How to Protect My Family’s Finances from Hackers

Protect My Family’s Finances from Hackers

With the rise of technology, online security is more important than ever. Hackers are always developing new ways of compromising banking accounts. You do not want to be a victim of these cybercriminals, and most especially, you do not want your loved ones to fall in the trap. Thus,are there ways to make sure yours and your family’s finances are safe online?

There are many things you can do to protect your family from hackers. You can install the best antivirus, use a VPN to hide your IP, create strong passwords, and avoid clicking on bad links, etc. Read the entire guide to learn more.

Install the Best Antivirus

One of the effective ways of protecting your finances online is by installing good antimalware. A good antivirus will protect you from all malware created by hackers such as Trojans, Viruses, ransomware, adware, spyware, to name just a few.

The best antivirus comes with extra features to keep your online accounts safe from scams and other cybercriminals. Here are the features to look out for when buying one;

  • Malware protection; a good antivirus program should offer protection against new and advanced forms of malware. Cybercriminals use this malware to steal your banking details such as passwords and usernames.

This protection will improve your device’s native security system. When your devices and online accounts are protected, it will be less likely that your credit card numbers will be exposed to hackers.

  • Ransomware protection; ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts a victim’s files. The best antivirus will prevent your data from being held ransom.
  • Phishing protection; it is so easy to click on a link that disguises as your bank. A good anti malware will warn you when you are about to enter into a fake site.

On a fake website, hackers entice you into entering sensitive information such as credit card details, email addresses and passwords. Hackers use this information to steal your money. With a good antivirus, hackers will not be able to steal this data.

You will also be warned if you receive fraudulent emails that look as if they are from a friend, a company or financial institutions.

Parental control features; since many kids are spending more time online, they need an antivirus that can keep them safe from predators, addictive apps, and hackers.  A good antimalware program has parental control features that can filter out offensive content, block tracking apps and give the exact location of your kids for proper monitoring.

Use a VPN to hide your IP address

Get a good VPN. It will increase your security on private and public internet connections making it hard for cybercriminals to steal your financial information.

With a VPN, your details, like your location, are hidden, so you can securely access websites, apps, entertainment and more. It offers online privacy. Your internet provider, tracking website and internet browsers cannot be able to tell what you are doing online or able to disclose your sensitive information.

With this program, you can share any file without worrying a hacker might know its content.

Use 2-Factor Authentication to Protect your Financial Accounts

One of the best ways of protecting your family from hackers is by using 2-factor authentication to secure their online accounts.  Usernames and passwords are no longer sufficient since hackers can guess them.

With multi-factor authentication or 2-factor authentication, you will be required to verify your identity either by use of a call, text, or a code being sent to your phone number.  This provides an extra layer of security to your online accounts.

This technology can use your fingerprint, voice, and facial recognition so as to verify your identity.  Many banking institutions are using this technology since it best secures your information online.

Create strong passwords

If you want your family to stay safe online, encourage them to create strong passwords for their online accounts. Strong passwords are hard to crack.  A strong password that can beat hackers has the following characteristics;

  • Has 15 characters or even more
  • Has a mix of numbers, letters, and characters. Don’t forget to include too uppercase and lowercase letters
  • Avoid easy passwords such as 123, admin
  • Avoid using your names, phone numbers and your birth date as your password. Do not use passwords that you have used before or use for your other online accounts.

Remember, the best passwords will thwart brute force and make your accounts hard to break.

With the rise of technology, online security is more important than ever. Hackers are always developing new ways of compromising banking accounts. You do not want to be a victim of these cybercriminals, and most especially, you do not want your loved ones to fall in the trap. Thus,are there ways to make sure yours and your family’s finances are safe online?

There are many things you can do to protect your family from hackers. You can install the best antivirus, use a VPN to hide your IP, create strong passwords, and avoid clicking on bad links, etc. Read the entire guide to learn more.

Install the Best Antivirus

One of the effective ways of protecting your finances online is by installing good antimalware. A good antivirus will protect you from all malware created by hackers such as Trojans, Viruses, ransomware, adware, spyware, to name just a few.

The best antivirus comes with extra features to keep your online accounts safe from scams and other cybercriminals. Here are the features to look out for when buying one;

  • Malware protection; a good antivirus program should offer protection against new and advanced forms of malware. Cybercriminals use this malware to steal your banking details such as passwords and usernames.

This protection will improve your device’s native security system. When your devices and online accounts are protected, it will be less likely that your credit card numbers will be exposed to hackers.

  • Ransomware protection; ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts a victim’s files. The best antivirus will prevent your data from being held ransom.
  • Phishing protection; it is so easy to click on a link that disguises as your bank. A good anti malware will warn you when you are about to enter into a fake site.

On a fake website, hackers entice you into entering sensitive information such as credit card details, email addresses and passwords. Hackers use this information to steal your money. With a good antivirus, hackers will not be able to steal this data.

You will also be warned if you receive fraudulent emails that look as if they are from a friend, a company or financial institutions.

Parental control features; since many kids are spending more time online, they need an antivirus that can keep them safe from predators, addictive apps, and hackers.  A good antimalware program has parental control features that can filter out offensive content, block tracking apps and give the exact location of your kids for proper monitoring.

Use a VPN to hide your IP address

Get a good VPN. It will increase your security on private and public internet connections making it hard for cybercriminals to steal your financial information.

With a VPN, your details, like your location, are hidden, so you can securely access websites, apps, entertainment and more. It offers online privacy. Your internet provider, tracking website and internet browsers cannot be able to tell what you are doing online or able to disclose your sensitive information.

With this program, you can share any file without worrying a hacker might know its content.

Use 2-Factor Authentication to Protect your Financial Accounts

One of the best ways of protecting your family from hackers is by using 2-factor authentication to secure their online accounts.  Usernames and passwords are no longer sufficient since hackers can guess them.

With multi-factor authentication or 2-factor authentication, you will be required to verify your identity either by use of a call, text, or a code being sent to your phone number.  This provides an extra layer of security to your online accounts.

This technology can use your fingerprint, voice, and facial recognition so as to verify your identity.  Many banking institutions are using this technology since it best secures your information online.

Create strong passwords

If you want your family to stay safe online, encourage them to create strong passwords for their online accounts. Strong passwords are hard to crack.  A strong password that can beat hackers has the following characteristics;

  • Has 15 characters or even more
  • Has a mix of numbers, letters, and characters. Don’t forget to include too uppercase and lowercase letters
  • Avoid easy passwords such as 123, admin
  • Avoid using your names, phone numbers and your birth date as your password. Do not use passwords that you have used before or use for your other online accounts.

Remember, the best passwords will thwart brute force and make your accounts hard to break.

How to Report a Phishing Email

Report Email Phishing

Hopefully when you received a phishing email regarding one of your online accounts you didn’t click the link and try to login. This is how hackers attempt to gain access to your account without you knowing. If you did login, immediately close your browser. Then, re-open it and go to the proper sign page through your browser and change your password.

We all get phishing attempts via email but we can do more than just educate ourselves on how to prevent being tricked. Before you delete the phishing email report it to the proper website that the phishing email is trying to access. These same companies have cyber security people that you can forward the email to.  Simultaneously you can report all phishing attempts to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at reportphishing@apwg.org

When concerned about possible virus infection of your computer perform a malware scan. To clarify, most phishing attempts are not created to infect and take over your computer.  Rather, the goal of phishing is to learn your account login details so they can steal your personal information.

Below are some of the more common companies that identity thieves try to mimic. These are just examples and there are many others.  If you don’t see the contact information below for the company you are looking for, simply Google it safely at the top of our website. For example, if the phishing attempt is in regards to PayPal, Google “Report PayPal Phishing”.  Often, you will find an email address posted that you can forward the phishing email to.

Top Phishing Email Examples

In addition to forwarding phishing emails to appropriate companies and to the Anti-Phishing Working Group, you can also report the phishing link to Google but be careful. Don’t open the link in a browser, simple right click the link and select copy hyperlink. Cut and paste that link into the Google submission form and submit. Then, delete the phishing email. 

Here are a few examples of the top companies whose account holders are the top targets.  These companies want you to forward phishing emails to them so they can prevent future fishing attacks.

PayPal

PayPal is a top target of phishing because it gives thieves direct access to your money. If if you don’t currently have funds in your PayPal account, people with access can make payments out of a bank account or credit card that you have linked to. Report PayPal phishing attempts to spoof@paypal.com which can also be accessed on their PayPal suspicious activity.

If you have clicked a bad link or are worried about whether your account has been compromised change your password immediately. Learn more about how PayPal deals with account fraud.

DocuSign

Often, phishing links for DocuSign will go to Google Docs.  This may appear legitimate because it is using the Google domain but really it is someone with a Google account hosting a bad doc to gain your personal information.  Be proactive and report suspicious emails to DocuSign’s security team at spam@docusign.com. If you feel the security of your account is at risk, contact DocuSign customer support.

Below are some tips to help spot the difference between real and spoof DocuSign emails: 

All URLs to view or sign DocuSign documents will contain “docusign.net/” and will always start with https.  All legitimate DocuSign envelopes include a unique security code at the bottom of notification emails. If you do not see this code, don’t click on any links or open any attachments within the email.

For the latest DocuSign security and system performance information, visit the DocuSign Trust Center

Netflix

Because Netflix is such a popular streaming service these days, it’s one of the more popular targets for phishing. Netflix states that they will never ask you to click a link to enter personal information about your account. Even if you are not sure the email you receive is a phishing attempt, report it to Netflix by forwarding the email to phishing@netflix.com. If you want to check your account to see if something is wrong with your billing, for example, go to Netflix.com directly or via a bookmark you’ve already saved to log into your account.

Here is a classic phishing email that Netflix would never send to you.

Dear user, We’re having some trouble with your current billing information. We’ll try again, but in the meantime you may want to update your payment details.

Most phishing emails feature proper links to the company at the bottom of the email, such as the Netflix support page or contact page. This is to trick you into thinking it’s legit. However, the link in the middle of the email goes to a different website.

Banks and Credit Card Companies

You may only have one bank account and one credit card. So when you receive an email from a bank that you don’t have an account with, it’s easy to ignore. You may even be thinking, why would they send this to me? Well, cyberthieves use spam internet servers to sent the phishing email to millions of people because they know at a percentage of those on the list will have an account with a particular bank.

This is why you will sometimes get an email that looks like it’s from your bank. Don’t worry, the scam artist probably doesn’t know you have an account with a certain bank. You are simply one of millions of people on a list.

Chase is one of the top banks that phishing emails try to mimic.  But really, there are too many banks and credit card companies to list, so it’s wise to be wary of any email from your bank.  Any information you need to know about your bank account will be within your account, so just go to your regular bookmark in your browser to login or to go Google and search for your bank.  You never have to worry if you always go directly to your bank to see if there are any important notifications for you.  Or just call you bank. 

To report a phishing email to your specific bank, search for your financial institution on Google by typing in your bank name followed by the keywords ‘report phishing email’.

Apple

Apple is a big one.  Your user name and password gives phishing attempts access to your iCloud account where all of your files are stored, including your contacts and pictures.  If you see any email that looks suspicious report it to Apple by forwarding the email to reportphishing@apple.com.  Apple will never ask you to verify your identity using your password.  They also recommend to protect your Apple ID by using two-factor authentication.  This security measure is available with many online accounts where a code is sent to you via text or email to complete your login.  This means that even if hackers gain access to your user name and password and try to log in, you will get a notification, but unless they have access to your phone, they can’t gain access.

Courier Companies and Shipping Outlets

Couriers include companies like Fed Ex, UPS, DHL Express, Purolator, and USPS.  Shipping may also come from online stores who use couriers, such as Amazon and Target.  The email may say something line “We are having trouble delivering your shipment!”  If you are expecting a shipment, you will immediately be concerned.  If you are not expecting a shipment you may wonder why you are receiving a product when you didn’t order anything. This is probably a phishing email, but even if it isn’t look closely at the email.  It’s always best not click any links and simply go to your account directly through your browser.  If you don’t have an account with a specific store, such as Walmart, then you know it is more than likely a phishing email.  Report it to the company concerned then delete the email.

Amazon

Many people have an Amazon account.  You may get an email from Amazon asking for your to login to correct a problem.  This is more than likely phishing.  Do not login using the link in the mail. Go directly to your Amazon account from your browser to see if there are any issues.  Amazon also uses couriers and the same safety rules apply.  Amazon usually notifies online shoppers that a real shipment has been delivered to their door, but they will never put a link in that email and ask you to check on your shipment.  Forward all suspicious emails to Amazon at stop-spoofing@amazon.com

Facebook

Facebook is one of the largest website in the world with over 2.7 billion active users.  They have taken great strides to protect against phishing and promote that they take seriously all phishing reports when you forward the email to phish@fb.com.   They have also set up security tools to prevent outsiders from signing into your account.  Like many online accounts they recommend and offer ‘two factor authentication’.  They will also email you of suspicious login attempts when you set up to receive unrecognized login notifications.

Additional Targeted Companies of Phishing Emails

If you have scrolled down to this bottom of this email looking for a company that is not listed above, below are are few safe links or email addresses to report a phishing attempt to that company. Reporting phishing is important so that collectively, we can work to shut down the hackers and scammers who are trying to steal personal information from millions of account holders around the world.

A Quick Review of What to Do When you Receive a Suspected Phishing email.

  • Don’t click any link to login to your account.  Go directly to your account via your browser bookmark or by searching for it on Google.  If you don’t have an account related to the email, it’s probably a phishing attempt and you have nothing to worry about.
  • Before deleting the phishing email, forward the email to the company the identity thieves are pretending to be.
  • Report the phishing link to Google but be careful how you copy the link to paste it on Google’s reporting page. Never click the link.  Instead, right click on the link to copy the hyperlink. Then delete the email.
  • When you forward a phishing email to any company, cc the email to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at reportphishing@apwg.org

Here are additional emails not written about above that you can report phishing emails to:

  • eBay: spoof@ebay.com
  • Chase:   phishing@chase.com
  • Microsoft:  phish@office365.microsoft.com
  • Comcast:  abuse@comcast.net
  • WhatsApp:   Learn more about WhatsApp security issues.

Report Phishing Email to Gmail

This image below shows you how to report amy phishing attempt that is sent to your Gmail. To access this, you need to be signed into the web version of your gmail account. Reporting these emails will help reduce phishing and spam emails to your Gmail, but you should also report emails to the company being spoofed.

To report phishing to Gmail follow the steps below.  1) On an open email, select the drop down menu on the top right. 2) Select Report Phishing.Report Email Phishing to Gmail

About Google Account Security:  Since Google accounts only have one login to multiple website, including YouTube and the multiple apps within Google for Education, consider setting up Two Factor Authentication to protect your account.

Additional Resources

Make sure your computer is not infected with Malware because you clicked a phishing email, scan your computer and protect against future attacks.

Learn more about Phishing and the new ways hackers use to steal peoples personal information.  Read about Smishing (Text) and Vishing (Phone) Scams.

Hopefully when you received a phishing email regarding one of your online accounts you didn’t click the link and try to login. This is how hackers attempt to gain access to your account without you knowing. If you did login, immediately close your browser. Then, re-open it and go to the proper sign page through your browser and change your password.

We all get phishing attempts via email but we can do more than just educate ourselves on how to prevent being tricked. Before you delete the phishing email report it to the proper website that the phishing email is trying to access. These same companies have cyber security people that you can forward the email to.  Simultaneously you can report all phishing attempts to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at reportphishing@apwg.org

When concerned about possible virus infection of your computer perform a malware scan. To clarify, most phishing attempts are not created to infect and take over your computer.  Rather, the goal of phishing is to learn your account login details so they can steal your personal information.

Below are some of the more common companies that identity thieves try to mimic. These are just examples and there are many others.  If you don’t see the contact information below for the company you are looking for, simply Google it safely at the top of our website. For example, if the phishing attempt is in regards to PayPal, Google “Report PayPal Phishing”.  Often, you will find an email address posted that you can forward the phishing email to.

Top Phishing Email Examples

In addition to forwarding phishing emails to appropriate companies and to the Anti-Phishing Working Group, you can also report the phishing link to Google but be careful. Don’t open the link in a browser, simple right click the link and select copy hyperlink. Cut and paste that link into the Google submission form and submit. Then, delete the phishing email. 

Here are a few examples of the top companies whose account holders are the top targets.  These companies want you to forward phishing emails to them so they can prevent future fishing attacks.

PayPal

PayPal is a top target of phishing because it gives thieves direct access to your money. If if you don’t currently have funds in your PayPal account, people with access can make payments out of a bank account or credit card that you have linked to. Report PayPal phishing attempts to spoof@paypal.com which can also be accessed on their PayPal suspicious activity.

If you have clicked a bad link or are worried about whether your account has been compromised change your password immediately. Learn more about how PayPal deals with account fraud.

DocuSign

Often, phishing links for DocuSign will go to Google Docs.  This may appear legitimate because it is using the Google domain but really it is someone with a Google account hosting a bad doc to gain your personal information.  Be proactive and report suspicious emails to DocuSign’s security team at spam@docusign.com. If you feel the security of your account is at risk, contact DocuSign customer support.

Below are some tips to help spot the difference between real and spoof DocuSign emails: 

All URLs to view or sign DocuSign documents will contain “docusign.net/” and will always start with https.  All legitimate DocuSign envelopes include a unique security code at the bottom of notification emails. If you do not see this code, don’t click on any links or open any attachments within the email.

For the latest DocuSign security and system performance information, visit the DocuSign Trust Center

Netflix

Because Netflix is such a popular streaming service these days, it’s one of the more popular targets for phishing. Netflix states that they will never ask you to click a link to enter personal information about your account. Even if you are not sure the email you receive is a phishing attempt, report it to Netflix by forwarding the email to phishing@netflix.com. If you want to check your account to see if something is wrong with your billing, for example, go to Netflix.com directly or via a bookmark you’ve already saved to log into your account.

Here is a classic phishing email that Netflix would never send to you.

Dear user, We’re having some trouble with your current billing information. We’ll try again, but in the meantime you may want to update your payment details.

Most phishing emails feature proper links to the company at the bottom of the email, such as the Netflix support page or contact page. This is to trick you into thinking it’s legit. However, the link in the middle of the email goes to a different website.

Banks and Credit Card Companies

You may only have one bank account and one credit card. So when you receive an email from a bank that you don’t have an account with, it’s easy to ignore. You may even be thinking, why would they send this to me? Well, cyberthieves use spam internet servers to sent the phishing email to millions of people because they know at a percentage of those on the list will have an account with a particular bank.

This is why you will sometimes get an email that looks like it’s from your bank. Don’t worry, the scam artist probably doesn’t know you have an account with a certain bank. You are simply one of millions of people on a list.

Chase is one of the top banks that phishing emails try to mimic.  But really, there are too many banks and credit card companies to list, so it’s wise to be wary of any email from your bank.  Any information you need to know about your bank account will be within your account, so just go to your regular bookmark in your browser to login or to go Google and search for your bank.  You never have to worry if you always go directly to your bank to see if there are any important notifications for you.  Or just call you bank. 

To report a phishing email to your specific bank, search for your financial institution on Google by typing in your bank name followed by the keywords ‘report phishing email’.

Apple

Apple is a big one.  Your user name and password gives phishing attempts access to your iCloud account where all of your files are stored, including your contacts and pictures.  If you see any email that looks suspicious report it to Apple by forwarding the email to reportphishing@apple.com.  Apple will never ask you to verify your identity using your password.  They also recommend to protect your Apple ID by using two-factor authentication.  This security measure is available with many online accounts where a code is sent to you via text or email to complete your login.  This means that even if hackers gain access to your user name and password and try to log in, you will get a notification, but unless they have access to your phone, they can’t gain access.

Courier Companies and Shipping Outlets

Couriers include companies like Fed Ex, UPS, DHL Express, Purolator, and USPS.  Shipping may also come from online stores who use couriers, such as Amazon and Target.  The email may say something line “We are having trouble delivering your shipment!”  If you are expecting a shipment, you will immediately be concerned.  If you are not expecting a shipment you may wonder why you are receiving a product when you didn’t order anything. This is probably a phishing email, but even if it isn’t look closely at the email.  It’s always best not click any links and simply go to your account directly through your browser.  If you don’t have an account with a specific store, such as Walmart, then you know it is more than likely a phishing email.  Report it to the company concerned then delete the email.

Amazon

Many people have an Amazon account.  You may get an email from Amazon asking for your to login to correct a problem.  This is more than likely phishing.  Do not login using the link in the mail. Go directly to your Amazon account from your browser to see if there are any issues.  Amazon also uses couriers and the same safety rules apply.  Amazon usually notifies online shoppers that a real shipment has been delivered to their door, but they will never put a link in that email and ask you to check on your shipment.  Forward all suspicious emails to Amazon at stop-spoofing@amazon.com

Facebook

Facebook is one of the largest website in the world with over 2.7 billion active users.  They have taken great strides to protect against phishing and promote that they take seriously all phishing reports when you forward the email to phish@fb.com.   They have also set up security tools to prevent outsiders from signing into your account.  Like many online accounts they recommend and offer ‘two factor authentication’.  They will also email you of suspicious login attempts when you set up to receive unrecognized login notifications.

Additional Targeted Companies of Phishing Emails

If you have scrolled down to this bottom of this email looking for a company that is not listed above, below are are few safe links or email addresses to report a phishing attempt to that company. Reporting phishing is important so that collectively, we can work to shut down the hackers and scammers who are trying to steal personal information from millions of account holders around the world.

A Quick Review of What to Do When you Receive a Suspected Phishing email.

  • Don’t click any link to login to your account.  Go directly to your account via your browser bookmark or by searching for it on Google.  If you don’t have an account related to the email, it’s probably a phishing attempt and you have nothing to worry about.
  • Before deleting the phishing email, forward the email to the company the identity thieves are pretending to be.
  • Report the phishing link to Google but be careful how you copy the link to paste it on Google’s reporting page. Never click the link.  Instead, right click on the link to copy the hyperlink. Then delete the email.
  • When you forward a phishing email to any company, cc the email to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at reportphishing@apwg.org

Here are additional emails not written about above that you can report phishing emails to:

  • eBay: spoof@ebay.com
  • Chase:   phishing@chase.com
  • Microsoft:  phish@office365.microsoft.com
  • Comcast:  abuse@comcast.net
  • WhatsApp:   Learn more about WhatsApp security issues.

Report Phishing Email to Gmail

This image below shows you how to report amy phishing attempt that is sent to your Gmail. To access this, you need to be signed into the web version of your gmail account. Reporting these emails will help reduce phishing and spam emails to your Gmail, but you should also report emails to the company being spoofed.

To report phishing to Gmail follow the steps below.  1) On an open email, select the drop down menu on the top right. 2) Select Report Phishing.Report Email Phishing to Gmail

About Google Account Security:  Since Google accounts only have one login to multiple website, including YouTube and the multiple apps within Google for Education, consider setting up Two Factor Authentication to protect your account.

Additional Resources

Make sure your computer is not infected with Malware because you clicked a phishing email, scan your computer and protect against future attacks.

Learn more about Phishing and the new ways hackers use to steal peoples personal information.  Read about Smishing (Text) and Vishing (Phone) Scams.

Covenant Eyes – Internet Filtering, Monitoring, Accountability

internet accountabilty and filtering

All software based internet filters block content to prevents kids from viewing harmful websites or downloading apps their parents don’t approve of.  Covenant Eyes does this as well, but has added features that encourages a culture of accountability through email reports disclosing internet use and sending them to an accountability partner.

This accountability relationship may include kids and their parents, or may strictly be among adult friends who are struggling with porn on the internet.  Therefore, Covenant Eyes is not just marketed to parents who want to protect younger internet users.

Unlike the history in your browser that can be deleted, Covenant Eyes keeps track of all user activity within the subscriber’s account.  It teaches safe browsing habits.  Just knowing that an extra set of eyes will see the search history on a daily or weekly basis help keeps family and friends responsible when surfing the internet, including Google.

It is these two facets that makes Covenant Eyes unique.  While most parental control software programs are set up to give parents all the control, Covenant Eyes can also be for adult users with accountability partners.  These adults have control of their own account and their accountability partners are sent reports of online activity, as well as changes made to restrictions and app downloads.  To further clarify, let’s recap that which may be confusing to those who are new to internet filtering and monitoring software;

Covenant Eyes has Two Distinct Features depending on the End User.

  • It is just like your standard parental control software used by parents to monitor and restrict internet access for younger kids.  Age limits can be set according to age to give teens more freedom to make good choices online, but a certain level filtering and blocking is still implemented. This is controlled by the parent.
  • It is monitoring software for adults who want accountability with a friend or spouse*.  The account is opened by the adult user.   An accountability partner is added (or multiple partners) and email reports are sent to this partner or multiple partners of their internet activity.  The frequent of email reports is determined by the account holder.

The creation of the Covenant Eyes software program was based on the word covenant, which is basically an agreement one makes with another person about particular issue. In regards to internet safety, the agreement made (covenant) is to stay away from harmful content online.  Later, Covenant Eyes was expanded to also provide complete internet blocking for kids.

Both blocking and accountability is included in the full software download.  The difference is who owns the account.  For families with kids, the parents have the control.  For adults, they hold the account and have full access to the internet. They simply want to be accountable to others. It may be to fight a porn addiction or they are struggling with control issues over internet use.

*It has been recommended by many counselors of couples who are struggling with porn that your Covenant Eyes accountability partner is someone other than your spouse.  This sets up inequitable parental roles within the relationship.  All couples, married or not, should be focusing on open and honest communication about all aspects of their relationship without condescension. It can work better for each individual to set up accountability with a friend that both people in the relationship respect and trust.

If you are a parent with older teens, you may not even decide to block content.  You may want to teach self control.  Your teens actions will be greatly controlled by the strength of their accountability relationship with you as a parent.  When they are aware that the parent will be receiving email reports about online activity, it will teach good decision making and self control.

If you are an adult seeking control over the internet within your own life, you still have freedom online.  For example, a site like YouTube may automatically be blocked.  This is a standard setting for parents who may want to prevent their younger kids from being on YouTube.  Therefore, you can change the settings to allow YouTube.  Your accountability partner(s) will see these changes in their email report but it won’t be something they would question since YouTube is not a pornographic website.

Accountability can also go both ways.  Friends may want to be accountable to each other, or a support group of friends.  Each member would have their own account and add multiple partners.  Here is what a typical Covenant Eyes account looks like after logging in through the app on your phone.  

Email reports are not cumbersome. Bad websites are highlighted to produce an easy to view history report of where a user has been online. Those keeping an eye on a users internet habits can also log in with limited access to see a recent history. Of course, this is not ideal for younger kids because you don’t want them stumbling on explicit material even by accident.  This is where you would want to employ complete parental controls.

Beyond the accountability option, Covenant Eyes still allows parents to block websites based on the age. This protects kids from being exposed to explicit material by mistake.  It comes preloaded with at set of obvious sites that should be blocked but may decide you don’t want a person to access a particular social media site or apps.

Basic Covenant Eyes Software Set Up

  • Covenant Eyes downloaded to a computer or smart phone.
  • Covenant Eyes keeps a complete and accurate record of all web usage.
  • Filtering, blocking  and Monitoring can be set up according to age.
  • Accountability Partners, selected by the user, receive reports by email about internet activity.
  • Unique dynamic scoring system highlights questionable sites, making the report easy to read.
  • When an accountability partner is removed, that partner previously set up to receive activity reports is notified.
  • Create Your Covenant Eyes Account

Screen Accountability

Covenant Eyes has responded to the growing need to their software to work as the internet privacy and security protocols evolve.  Therefore, they have redefined accountability as screen accountability.  Basically, it’s not as easy now to determine the content of a website based only on the url or written content on the page.

Families!  Take the 7 Day Digital Detox for Free!

Screen Monitoring:  The software periodically captures screenshots of screen activity and stores them securely.

Screenshot Analysis:  Advanced artificial intelligence analyzes those screenshots, on your device, for explicit imagery.

Screenshot Processing:  The software rates the images, blurs them to protect your privacy, then prioritizes them based on content.
Activity Reporting.   A report of concerning activity, circumvention attempts and other activity is sent to you and your ally.

Families!  Take the 7 Day Digital Detox for Free!

Safe Search Kids recommends the use of parental control software to implement internet filtering. If you decide not to subscribe to internet filtering and blocking via software, we still encourage families to use Google Safe Search.  Just know that while filtered search engines such as ours do a great job of blocking offensive and dangerous websites, they only work while the child is using the safe search website to conduct searches.  A program such as Covenant Eyes is a tool that combines greater restrictions to internet access.  In either case, parental guidance on safe browsing behavior is always best to teach kids safe browsing habits.

If you have a computer gamer in the house, a parental control program is not the same as anti-virus software.  Many gamers complain of reduced speed while running anti-virus for protection and now there is a new solution to that problem.  It’s Performance + Security in One for gamer security.

Accountability Reporting

Covenant Eyes analyzes each website visited and blocks or allows them according to each user’s sensitivity settings. The parental control filter requires an ‘uninstall code’ in order to remove it from the computer. If the program is uninstalled, all users and accountability partners receive an email that the Covenant Eyes is no longer tracking usage.

As mentioned, you can choose to not have a lower level of filtering for older family members. At it’s most basic level, the software program instills positive browsing habits through accountability and reduces the risk of developing addictive behavior. Parents should also consider controls for very young children spending time online.

Simply create an Covenant Eyes account and download.  The software provides an economical solution to internet filtering for the entire family.  For adults, it offers freedom with the ability to set up accountability with trusted friends.   Typical adult users are those who choose to resist temptation on the internet by remaining accountable to a friend or spouse.

Give it a try and if you are not completely satisfied with how the program is working for you, simply request a refund within 30 days for a guaranteed 100% refund.

Download Covenant Eyes!

How to Protect Your Child from Online Predators

All software based internet filters block content to prevents kids from viewing harmful websites or downloading apps their parents don’t approve of.  Covenant Eyes does this as well, but has added features that encourages a culture of accountability through email reports disclosing internet use and sending them to an accountability partner.

This accountability relationship may include kids and their parents, or may strictly be among adult friends who are struggling with porn on the internet.  Therefore, Covenant Eyes is not just marketed to parents who want to protect younger internet users.

Unlike the history in your browser that can be deleted, Covenant Eyes keeps track of all user activity within the subscriber’s account.  It teaches safe browsing habits.  Just knowing that an extra set of eyes will see the search history on a daily or weekly basis help keeps family and friends responsible when surfing the internet, including Google.

It is these two facets that makes Covenant Eyes unique.  While most parental control software programs are set up to give parents all the control, Covenant Eyes can also be for adult users with accountability partners.  These adults have control of their own account and their accountability partners are sent reports of online activity, as well as changes made to restrictions and app downloads.  To further clarify, let’s recap that which may be confusing to those who are new to internet filtering and monitoring software;

Covenant Eyes has Two Distinct Features depending on the End User.

  • It is just like your standard parental control software used by parents to monitor and restrict internet access for younger kids.  Age limits can be set according to age to give teens more freedom to make good choices online, but a certain level filtering and blocking is still implemented. This is controlled by the parent.
  • It is monitoring software for adults who want accountability with a friend or spouse*.  The account is opened by the adult user.   An accountability partner is added (or multiple partners) and email reports are sent to this partner or multiple partners of their internet activity.  The frequent of email reports is determined by the account holder.

The creation of the Covenant Eyes software program was based on the word covenant, which is basically an agreement one makes with another person about particular issue. In regards to internet safety, the agreement made (covenant) is to stay away from harmful content online.  Later, Covenant Eyes was expanded to also provide complete internet blocking for kids.

Both blocking and accountability is included in the full software download.  The difference is who owns the account.  For families with kids, the parents have the control.  For adults, they hold the account and have full access to the internet. They simply want to be accountable to others. It may be to fight a porn addiction or they are struggling with control issues over internet use.

*It has been recommended by many counselors of couples who are struggling with porn that your Covenant Eyes accountability partner is someone other than your spouse.  This sets up inequitable parental roles within the relationship.  All couples, married or not, should be focusing on open and honest communication about all aspects of their relationship without condescension. It can work better for each individual to set up accountability with a friend that both people in the relationship respect and trust.

If you are a parent with older teens, you may not even decide to block content.  You may want to teach self control.  Your teens actions will be greatly controlled by the strength of their accountability relationship with you as a parent.  When they are aware that the parent will be receiving email reports about online activity, it will teach good decision making and self control.

If you are an adult seeking control over the internet within your own life, you still have freedom online.  For example, a site like YouTube may automatically be blocked.  This is a standard setting for parents who may want to prevent their younger kids from being on YouTube.  Therefore, you can change the settings to allow YouTube.  Your accountability partner(s) will see these changes in their email report but it won’t be something they would question since YouTube is not a pornographic website.

Accountability can also go both ways.  Friends may want to be accountable to each other, or a support group of friends.  Each member would have their own account and add multiple partners.  Here is what a typical Covenant Eyes account looks like after logging in through the app on your phone.  

Email reports are not cumbersome. Bad websites are highlighted to produce an easy to view history report of where a user has been online. Those keeping an eye on a users internet habits can also log in with limited access to see a recent history. Of course, this is not ideal for younger kids because you don’t want them stumbling on explicit material even by accident.  This is where you would want to employ complete parental controls.

Beyond the accountability option, Covenant Eyes still allows parents to block websites based on the age. This protects kids from being exposed to explicit material by mistake.  It comes preloaded with at set of obvious sites that should be blocked but may decide you don’t want a person to access a particular social media site or apps.

Basic Covenant Eyes Software Set Up

  • Covenant Eyes downloaded to a computer or smart phone.
  • Covenant Eyes keeps a complete and accurate record of all web usage.
  • Filtering, blocking  and Monitoring can be set up according to age.
  • Accountability Partners, selected by the user, receive reports by email about internet activity.
  • Unique dynamic scoring system highlights questionable sites, making the report easy to read.
  • When an accountability partner is removed, that partner previously set up to receive activity reports is notified.
  • Create Your Covenant Eyes Account

Screen Accountability

Covenant Eyes has responded to the growing need to their software to work as the internet privacy and security protocols evolve.  Therefore, they have redefined accountability as screen accountability.  Basically, it’s not as easy now to determine the content of a website based only on the url or written content on the page.

Families!  Take the 7 Day Digital Detox for Free!

Screen Monitoring:  The software periodically captures screenshots of screen activity and stores them securely.

Screenshot Analysis:  Advanced artificial intelligence analyzes those screenshots, on your device, for explicit imagery.

Screenshot Processing:  The software rates the images, blurs them to protect your privacy, then prioritizes them based on content.
Activity Reporting.   A report of concerning activity, circumvention attempts and other activity is sent to you and your ally.

Families!  Take the 7 Day Digital Detox for Free!

Safe Search Kids recommends the use of parental control software to implement internet filtering. If you decide not to subscribe to internet filtering and blocking via software, we still encourage families to use Google Safe Search.  Just know that while filtered search engines such as ours do a great job of blocking offensive and dangerous websites, they only work while the child is using the safe search website to conduct searches.  A program such as Covenant Eyes is a tool that combines greater restrictions to internet access.  In either case, parental guidance on safe browsing behavior is always best to teach kids safe browsing habits.

If you have a computer gamer in the house, a parental control program is not the same as anti-virus software.  Many gamers complain of reduced speed while running anti-virus for protection and now there is a new solution to that problem.  It’s Performance + Security in One for gamer security.

Accountability Reporting

Covenant Eyes analyzes each website visited and blocks or allows them according to each user’s sensitivity settings. The parental control filter requires an ‘uninstall code’ in order to remove it from the computer. If the program is uninstalled, all users and accountability partners receive an email that the Covenant Eyes is no longer tracking usage.

As mentioned, you can choose to not have a lower level of filtering for older family members. At it’s most basic level, the software program instills positive browsing habits through accountability and reduces the risk of developing addictive behavior. Parents should also consider controls for very young children spending time online.

Simply create an Covenant Eyes account and download.  The software provides an economical solution to internet filtering for the entire family.  For adults, it offers freedom with the ability to set up accountability with trusted friends.   Typical adult users are those who choose to resist temptation on the internet by remaining accountable to a friend or spouse.

Give it a try and if you are not completely satisfied with how the program is working for you, simply request a refund within 30 days for a guaranteed 100% refund.

Download Covenant Eyes!

How to Protect Your Child from Online Predators