What Is Phishing?
Today we’re not talking about fishing for fish in the lake, we’re talking about criminals on the internet who are out to try and steal your sensitive information.
We’re covering this article today because if you’re a freelancer or are dealing with new customers, you’ll most likely be sent a lot of documents and links. The question is, can we trust them?
How do I know if someone is Phishing?
If you’re on a freelancing site for example and are signed in as a user, it’s important to take great attention to detail when dealing with clients. When you’re given links to login pages, these can look incredibly genuine. Yet if you enter your username and password into these pages, you’re no longer dealing with a client – you’re dealing with a scammer, known as a phisher.
This article is not designed to scare you off freelancing, that’s the last thing we want! However phishing can so easily be unspotted, especially if your attention is elsewhere. Phishing can be prevented easily, just follow the tips below:
– make sure that you’re logging into the real freelancing site. If a client sends you elsewhere in their proposal to another website, do not enter your logins. If you’re unsure whether the site is real one or not, check the beginning of the address bar. If the text starts with something you’re unfamiliar with – do not enter your logins! If you’ve done this by mistake, be sure to change your logins as soon as possible!
– log into your email accounts by performing a Google Search or by typing the site in yourself. A client should never have to list your email providers website link into a message. In regards to email logins, this also applies for attachments which are provided in job invites, messages and other information.
– use unique and unoriginal passwords for any sites online, especially when dealing with money. Whilst it might seem tempting to create a great password that you think is off the mark, for each of your sites, it’s not a good move. If a phisher was to get access to this one sole password, what’s to stop them from trying this password on any other sites? It might seem like a hassle writing your passwords down and keeping them safe, yet it’s a safer approach in the long run if you ever ran into a phisher!
– be incredibly cautious with clients that are new to your freelancing site. They should, when creating a proposal, verify their payment method. Whilst this doesn’t always mean they’re considering phishing, it’s definitely something worth questioning. Especially if the project is classed as Urgent or their demanding a specific time.
– be especially wary and alert about websites they may ask you to log into.
– Whilst these might seem obviously known, never give your passwords to anyone, not even people you might trust. Not only is this a huge security risk, but it lies with further consequences on your behalf. Sharing passwords is a violation of some freelancing sites policies, which may result in suspension of your account of your account privileges.
– Never give out your full address, photo identifications, financial letters and information or government ID numbers to clients.
– Remember, your bank will never ask you for your password. If you get an email regarding your funds in your bank, your bank will ring you or write you a letter. They will never ask you for your username, password or security question answers.
Phishing is not just about stealing passwords. Phishing also includes the crime of stealing personal identifications. Thousands are stolen every day which are then sold onto further crimes.
Enjoy your freelancing, enjoy your work with clients – just be alert and wary of clients asking you to login different websites, sending your zip files to download, asking for passwords and any other unusual activity.