Fall 2018

Northwest Farm Credit: Rural, Real Estate, Operating Loans; Farm Loans; Country Home Loans; Lot Loans; Equipment Financing; Young and Beginning Producers; Crop Insurance; Business Management Education; Property Appraisals

Issue link: http://digital.nexsitepublishing.com/i/1052966

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Page 17 of 19

security awareness 17 Northwest Farm Credit Services S E C U R I T Y A W A R E N E S S Keep your security up to date! Use security software you trust, and make sure you set it to update automatically. Back up your files to an external hard drive or cloud storage regularly to protect yourself against viruses or a ransomware attack. Let's Go Phishing! Actually, let's not go phishing. Instead, let's examine the ways that scammers try to fool us. Though you may already be aware of the danger of phishing, it remains the most common (and easiest!) way for hackers to steal your information. Phishing is when a fraudster uses fake emails, texts or copycat websites (that look like the original but are not) to trick you into sharing your personal information, such as account number, Social Security number or login ID and pass- word. Fraudsters then use your information to steal your money or your identity or both. Fraudsters don't have the same sense of boundaries or ethics that you do. She might call your phone and say she's from Microsoft or act like your child or grandchild. When you ask why she sounds different, she has a ready excuse: "I have a cold" or "The connection is bad. But I am stranded in Canada. Just send the money order, please." Act now! You have a virus! Your account is at risk! The request is usually urgent. Why? Because if you respond emotionally and immediately, you are more likely to act without thinking. Fraudsters want you to click a link and log in with your user name and password. They want your bank account information. They tell lies to get you to give them information. Here are some tips from the Federal Trade Commission on reducing the risk of phishing: Be cautious about opening attachments or clicking on links in emails. Even your friends' or family members' accounts could be hacked. Files and links can contain malware that can weaken your computer's security. Do your own typing. If a company or organization you know sends you a link or phone number, don't click. Use your favorite search engine to look up the website or phone number yourself. Even though a link or phone number in an email may look like the real deal, scammers can hide the true destination. Make the call if you're not sure. Do not respond to any emails that request personal or financial informa- tion. Phishers use pressure tactics and prey on fear. If you think a company, friend or family member really does need personal information from you, pick up the phone and call them yourself using the number on their website or in your address book, not the one in the email. Turn on two-factor authentication. For accounts that support it, two-factor authentication requires both your password and an additional piece of information to log in to your account. The second piece could be a code sent to your phone, or a random number generated by an app or a token. This protects your account even if your password is compromised. As an extra precaution, you may want to choose more than one type of second authentication (e.g., a PIN) in case your primary method (such as a phone) is unavailable. John Whalen • Northwest FCS Director-Information Security

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