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Recognizing and Tips for Protecting Yourself from Phishing Scams

LPL Financial encourages users to be mindful and aware of phishing attacks that cyber-criminals use to gain access to important data. Learn about the goals behind cyber-criminals’ phishing attacks, common phishing methods (including “smishing” and “vishing”), and how to spot red flags to protect yourself.

Educate yourself about avoiding these attacks to say one step ahead.

Cybercriminals continue to evolve and find new tactics for their scams, but there are still ways to spot certain scams and cyber-attacks before it’s too late. Educate yourself about avoiding these attacks to stay one step ahead.

Identifying Red Flags in Phishing Attacks

Here are some common indicators of phishing emails:

  • An unknown link or attachment is included in the email.
  • The email was sent from an unknown sender.
  • Sense of urgency is created in subject line and email content.
  • Poor grammar or spelling.

Tips for Protecting Yourself Against Phishing Attacks

If you receive an email from an unknown source that includes a link or an attachment, proceed forward cautiously. And, follow these tips:

  • Thoroughly review the entire email and look for red flags.
  • Think before you click.
  • Delete suspicious emails.
  • Keep software up to date.
  • Back up data on a regular basis.

Types of Phishing Scams Used by Cyber-Criminals


Similar to phishing attacks, smishing cyber-attacks occur via text messages. Links are included within the text message which lead to imitation sites created by cybercriminals. The sites appear real, but they aren’t, and any information provided is used for fraud by cybercriminals. To avoid these attacks, don’t click on links in text messages received from unknown numbers.


Voice phishing attacks occur when cybercriminals contact their victim via phone in an attempt to gain personal information. Always be suspicious of phone calls when callers ask for personal information. Additional tips for avoiding vishing are:

  • Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers, allow those calls to go to your voicemail.
  • Verify the identity of the caller.
  • Protect your information and never provide it to strangers.
  • If you feel unsure during the interaction, hang up the phone.

Keeping Your Password Safe

Your passwords are the “keys to your kingdom” and all of your information, regardless of what device you’re on. Learn the importance of strong passwords and password security.

Keeping Your Computer Safe

Computers are used both for personal and business purposes. Regardless of where you are, it is essential to have protective measures in place to keep your data safe. Learn what to do.

Keeping Your Mobile Device Safe

Mobile devices are standing for both personal and business use. With mobile technology continued to evolve, it’s essential that mobile device stay protected to keep personal data safe.