Over the weekend, thousands of people learned that their email addresses had been compromised as the result of an unauthorized entry into the systems of Epsilon Interactive, an email service provider.
If you received one of the alerts, you should be extra vigilant about the kind of emails you receive and which ones you choose to open or answer.
Because of this security breach, you may be at an increased risk of phishing scams, where you receive a message that tries to trick you into supplying personal or financial information.
The Federal Trade Commission provides the following tips to protect yourself from phishing scams:
- Don’t reply to email or pop-up messages that ask for personal or financial information, and don’t click on links in the message. Don’t cut and paste a link from the message into your Web browser — phishers can make links look like they go one place, but that actually send you to a different site.
- Some scammers send an email that appears to be from a legitimate business and ask you to call a phone number to update your account or access a “refund.” If you need to reach an organization you do business with, call the number on your financial statements or on the back of your credit card.
- Don’t email personal or financial information.
- Be cautious about opening any attachment or downloading any files from emails you receive, regardless of who sent them.
- Forward phishing emails to firstname.lastname@example.org and to the company, bank, or organization impersonated in the phishing email.
- If you’ve been scammed, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s Identity Theft website at ftc.gov/idtheft.