Do you remember the days when you had to put a stamp on an envelope and actually physically MAIL a letter to someone, and then WAIT for a reply?
Sounds antiquated in light of the wonders of technology these days, but with the immediacy of email and the instant access to information on the internet there are some unfortunate consequences that can occur.
We’re writing about those consequences and concerns today in hopes of helping you avoid some of the pitfalls.
As a region we have seen a recent huge spike in the access of information off of our regional website and Facebook. That’s a wonderful thing as folks throughout the region and our ABC Family tap into the good things the LORD is doing in our midst, but this heightened presence has also attracted some other more nefarious individuals who are hoping to exploit our high traffic via a religious organization.
One of the ways that these individuals seek to gain access to your data is through what is called ‘phishing’. Here the perpetrator ‘highjacks’ the email of someone on our staff (Frank, Jeff, Mark, etc.) and then sends out an email under their name and address, trying to entice you to respond. One of the immediate ways you will know these emails are not legitimate is the awkward and cryptic ways they are written…they just don’t seem to make sense on the surface. Additionally, if you simply hover over the email address in the header, you’ll see that the actual email address that appears is definitely NOT one of the staff. If you have any question on the source of the email, don’t respond to it.
A second way we have been impacted regionally is through some false Gmail accounts that have been created that closely mirror the staff’s Gmail accounts. Again, we ask you to be vigilant in monitoring the email that you receive from us….if it seems cryptic and out of character (i.e. the requesting of gift cards), please don’t respond. We have alerted Google to these attempts, but we wanted to inform all of you, as well.
The technology we have at our disposal today is a wonderful blessing that enables us to communicate with one another in ways that we have never been able to do before, but with that blessing and convenience comes the challenge of those who want to use it for less than honorable means. Please be cautious as you receive and respond to email not only from us in the region, but from others, as well.