A massive security breach from Epsilon has potentially exposed the e-mail addresses of millions of customers at major banks, hotels, and stores to hackers. Security experts are warning the public that you may be at greater risk of getting spam in your e-mail inbox that will try to trick you into revealing your personal information.
Consumer Reports recently offered some spam survival tips in dealing with the Epsilon fallout:
1. Never click on an embedded link in an e-mail. Very targeted phishing attacks are expected from this latest security breach, experts warn. Security experts have warned that spammers have been creating official-looking e-mails from such banks as Citibank that try to direct customers to click on an e-mail link and update their online account. By doing so, you may be providing hackers with your personal account information. If a company is trying to contact you about important changes to your account, instead go directly to the company’s web site from your browser or contact the customer service phone number.
2. Protect your personal information. Remember: Legitimate companies will never ask customers for your personal data--such as Social Security numbers or credit card information--via e-mail.
3. Update your anti-virus software. Spam also has a good chance of carrying viruses, malware, or even giving spammers the ability to capture everything you type, such as your account information. Make sure you have anti-virus software that is up to date to protect you from the latest viruses.
Source: “6 Tips for Surviving the Epsilon E-mail Fiasco,” Consumer Reports Online (April 5, 2011)