Phishing, Spoofing, and Hacking

I have been told by several people that Spoofing and Phishing are on the rise.  If you receive any emails that are questionable, let your preferred IT provider know.  If you think there is a chance your bank or other sensitive information may be at risk, go to the site you know is good, and change your password.

Many people don’t understand the differences between them.  So I will try to explain here.

Hacking is when a person sits at a keyboard and works to get into your stuff.  It could be your bank, or your Amazon account or anything else you don’t want others getting into.  You cannot stop this.  You will not know it is happening until it is too late.

Spoofing is when a person sets up a fake website to look like the actual site, and then sends you a message saying something like “Your gmail password has been compromised!!   Click this link to reset now!!”  NEVER CLICK THAT LINK!!!!   This is what happened to John Podesta in 2016.  He was using a Yahoo account for Campaign emails (Not smart for something as secretive as a Presidential Campaign)   He got a Spoof email, and asked his IT support what to do.  IT told him to reset the password, not adding the, “DON’T CLICK THE LINK IN THE EMAIL!!!” to the end of the statement.  Podesta, clicked the link it took him to a spoof site, and it looked like Yahoo.  So he reset his password, and then the people who controlled the site used that information to change his password on the actual Yahoo site.  After that both the Spoofers, and John Podesta had access to his email.  Depending on what is your email this can be not so bad, to HORRIBLE!!

Phishing is generally created to try to get information from you that they can use to gain access to other systems.  So if someone calls and says they are from the power company, and they wanted to verify the spelling of your name, without telling you your name, then DON’T DO IT!!!  Always make unknown people give you what they have first!!!  If you call your bank and they want to verify your info it is fine to tell them stuff.  If an unknown person calls and says they need to verify your address, and other data, DON’T DO IT!!!!  They are Phishing and will try to use that data to change your password on other sites.  Then you lose access to your Amazon account or other stuff.

The key thing is when in Doubt, Call IT!!!!  We don’t always like to hear the calls but they are far better than dealing with the aftermath!!!

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