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One Step Ahead: Almanac Security Tips - 2014

In each issue, Penn's Journal of Record, The Almanac publishes helpful tips and hints for dealing with information security and privacy matters. This page is a collection of all those published thus far.
New! You can now receive new One-Step-Ahead Security and Privacy Tips automatically!
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Table of Contents (view all)

Heartbleed OpenSSL Vulnerability
Security and Privacy Tips for World Travelers
Filing Taxes Online This Year? Take Steps to Protect Your Information!
If your computer runs Windows XP, you must update it now!
Why Should You Report Security Incidents? And How Do You Report One?
Photo and Video Privacy Issues
The Password is Dead, Long Live the Password!
Data Privacy Month: NSA Surveillance Panel at the National Constitution Center
Protecting Your Finances During This Year’s Holiday Shopping Season
Beware of Phishing E-mails in the Wake of Typhoon Haiyan
No E-mail from Penn Will Ask For Your Username/Password or SSN
The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act: Does It Apply to Your Website?
October: National Cyber Security Awareness Month; Free Secure Disposal of Paper and Electronics
What Basic Rules Protect Student Information at Penn? (September 2013)
Protecting Privacy and Security on Penn + Box

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Tagged with phishing , security

Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - Almanac Vol. 55, No. 16

Beware of Phishing Scams Tied to Changes in the Financial Marketplace

“Phishing” in its basic form typically arrives as an e-mail message purporting to be from a reputable financial institution or other business. The message may instruct you to click on a link to a website where you will be asked to enter information about your account in order to fix a "problem,” or may ask you to “update” or “confirm” your account information. The actual intent, of course, is to collect your personal information for purposes of committing identity theft or other crimes.

A recent alert from the Federal Trade Commission highlights a new twist on phishing, tied to changes in the financial marketplace over the past several weeks:

“The financial institution where you did business last week may have a new name today, and your checks and statements may come with a new look tomorrow. A new lender may have acquired your mortgage, and you could be mailing your payments to a new servicer. [These types of changes] may spur scam artists to phish for your personal information.”

One example: a scam artist might send an e-mail purporting to be from “your new bank,” asking that you confirm your personal and account information.

What should you do in this rapidly changing, sometimes turbulent environment?

FTC advice includes the following:

  • Don’t reply to an e-mail or pop-up message that asks for personal or financial information, and don’t click on links in the message—even if it appears to be from your bank.
  • Some e-mails ask you to call a phone number to update your account. To reach an institution you do business with, call the number on your financial statements, not the number provided in an e-mail.

For more tips to help guard against fraud and protect your personal information, visit


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