Phishing attacks are still largely clumsy. You’ll get a message in your e-mail inbox from someone you’ve never met. If you open the mail, you’ll likely find a link to a strange Web site. Don’t click that link! But if you do visit the site, there will usually be a request for personal information, maybe even your bank information. If you provide this information? You might find your bank account drained. You can protect yourself from phishing with a bit of common sense: Don’t open strange e-mails and never visit the links in them. But Dennis O’Reilly, a writer with CNET, provides one big tip to prevent phishing e-mails from even reaching your inbox.
Consolidate Your Contacts
You might have several e-mail accounts, all of which have their own list of e-mail contacts. Certainly, many of these contacts will be duplicates. O’Reilly’s advice? Consolidate all the contacts you have with different e-mail accounts into one single address book. If you do this, you should leave yourself with one point of access to your e-mail addresses.
To do this, O’Reilly suggests that you first export all of your contacts from your Web-based mail services. The steps to doing this vary by your e-mail service. For instance, to export your Gmail address book, first open “contacts” and the click “more > export.” Select the contacts you want to export, select the right format and then click “export.” To do the same thing with Outlook.com, select the “people” app and click “manage > export.” Select the “contacts” tab in the left pane. Click “actions > export all,” enter the captcha code and choose an export format.
Next you should delete the contacts from your Web mail services, import your contact list to your ISP mail account and forward messages from your Web mail service to your ISP account. There’s no guarantee that your e-mail inbox won’t again fall victim to a phishing attack. But taking these steps will dramatically reduce the odds.
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