Every Internet user should be informed about phishing. Phishing (a.k.a. hoax or spoof) emails usually appear to be from reputable companies but can put your privacy at risk.
Phishing email usually asks you to click a link to a counterfeit web site and provide/update/confirm private, personal information. To coax you into providing the information, the web site usually looks like the real company's web site and the email carries some form of urgency with it.
Some phishing campaigns do not ask you to provide information, but simply clicking the link could install key logging software or viruses on your computer. Some of this software can send every keystroke including passwords back to the perpetrator.
Although there is no fail-safe method to identify phishing emails, you should look for these signs:
- The message seems to require immediate action.
- Links look legitimate since they contain all or part of a real company's web site. The link then takes you to a site that asks you to provide/update/confirm private, personal information.
- Spelling errors. Spelling errors help phishing emails avoid spam filters.
It is also important to understand the practices of the companies who you conduct business with on the web. At Simmons First we
- Ask you to enter your social security number only when completing an online application for a credit card or an online form for internet banking.
- Send you emails with a link to your online banking account if you have enrolled in the eStatement service or requested an email alert through our internet banking service
- Do not send emails requesting your internet banking ID, password, social security number, or mother's maiden name.
- Do not require you to enter anything other than your Bank Anywhere ID and Password to sign on to Simmons First Bank Anywhere online banking service.
If you suspect that you have been a victim of phishing relating to any of your Simmons First online accounts, please contact us via email at email@example.com or by phone at 866.246.2400.
Some other general security tips that can help you protect yourself on the web are:
- Create hard to guess passwords. The longer the password the better and a mix of letters and number is even harder for someone to guess.
- Protect your identity. Don't carry your social security card with you. Although it is more convenient, do not have your social security number printed on your checks.
- Destroy all pre-approved credit card offers to which you do not respond.
- Keep your home computer up to date with anti-virus software.
- Install a personal firewall to help prevent unauthorized access to your home computer.
For more information about phishing and recommendations on protecting yourself, please visit the Anti-Phishing Working Group web sites below.
How to Avoid Phishing Scams
What To Do If You've Given Out Your Personal Financial Information