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How to avoid phishing attacks and other online scams

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Viasat treats phishing and other scams very seriously, and we have a number of tools at our disposal to block these at the source once we learn about them. If you believe you've received a phishing scam, please email viasatlistens@viasat.com and we'll look into it right away. Doing so will protect you as well as other customers who might not realize it's a scam!


Internet security software and other tools to protect your computer and email get more sophisticated every day, but they don’t work if you open the door to scammers trying to trick you into revealing sensitive information. These are known as “phishing” attacks. Here are a few tips to help you steer clear of them while using your Viasat Internet service.
Phishing is a common form of internet fraud in which online criminals use email or instant messaging to gain critical personal information, like your Social Security number, usernames and passwords. Typically, a phisher comes in the guise of a trusted relationship — like your bank, internet service provider or even a friend — to lure you into sharing personal information. 
A phishing email might urge you to verify your account or confirm billing information. By clicking on the link or sending the requested identifying information, the phisher can gain access to your accounts. 
“Always Think and Don’t Just Link,” is a motto introduced by MindfulSecurity.com, a site dedicated to raising awareness about internet security. Remember it and these other tips, even when you’re opening an email from an address you recognize:

  • Instead of clicking on an emailed link, type it into your web browser.
  • Avoid filling out emailed forms requesting personal information.
  • Only use secure websites for online transactions. These are identified by the lock symbol in the browser window. If you’re still unsure, click on the lock icon to verify the site.
  • Look for the letters “https” on a website’s URL. The “s” stands for security, and means any information you send will first be encrypted.
  • If a website still seems suspicious, do business the old-fashioned way: Pick up the phone.
  • Check your anti-virus software to confirm that it is up-to-date. Most have automatic updates and upgrades, but take a look to make sure these are occurring.
  • Treat your personal email address more like your physical address. Share it only with those you trust. If you don’t already have an alternate personal email address, set one up to use for newsletter subscriptions, retailer coupons and notices and other non-personal communications. 
  • If you don’t recognize the sender, don’t respond. Even replying to unsubscribe to spam mail could be a potential set-up for more spam. Label the email as “junk” instead, and check the strength of your spam filter.
  • Use a strong password. This is the oldest and most reliable tool we have to stay secure online, and that’s why it bears repeating. Again. And again. Mix numbers, letters and symbols in your password. Then write it down and store all your passwords in a secure location.

 Deploying these solutions doesn’t take a lot of time, and if you compare it to the months or even years of hassle you can endure if someone steals your identity, it’s well worth the effort.
 

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