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Healthy Passwords

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Legitimate Company Representatives will Never Ask for Your Password

Date: 2011-08-10 12:40:54

A blog post by Microsoft's hotmail manager, Dick Craddock, shows a sample phishing email using his name, picture, and signature. Craddock brings up a good point. No legitimate company will ever ask for your password. When systems housing passwords are created, they build in mechanisms for administrators to reset passwords, so asking a user for their password is not necessary. They simply need to reset it.

Hot Mail Phishing Sample

The only common example of a person needing your password is maybe a local support person who's sitting at your desk fixing a problem. Even then, they should slide the keyboard over and ask you to type it. Asking someone their password is like asking them their weight. It's personal and they may not want to share it.

According to Craddock, hotmail account hijacking is on the rise. They credit the rise to new security procedures implemented by hotmail over the past months. The new procedures make it too difficult to create fake accounts, so spammers are finding it easier to hijack existing accounts.

Don't fall for this type of ploy. The first warning sign is them asking for your password. Beyond that, them asking for your username and date of birth conveniently gives them some added information to compromise your other accounts after hijacking your email.

If a legitimate company ever asks for personal information such as address, date of birth, phone numbers, social security numbers or account numbers in email, don't send it. Look up the company number from another source and then call and give the information verbally to a company representative. Think of email as you would a postcard. Everyone who touches the email between you and the recipient can read the contents. If you would't put it on a postcard, don't put it in an email.

Category: Email

Subcategory: Phishing

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