Google halts phishing attack -- here are some helpful reminders

  • Approximately 1 million Gmail users were impacted by a phishing attack using a false invite to open a Google Doc link.

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On Wednesday, hackers targeted Gmail users by sending out an invite to open a Google Doc, which asked users to give permission to manage the users’ email account before being able to open the link.

From there, the hackers were able to access personal information and send a similar email to each users’ contact list.

According to a report by NBC, Google has been able to stop the attack and notify the approximately 1 million users who were impacted. The company also asked users to begin reporting suspicious emails using the “report phishing” feature.

In April, the National Association of Realtors sent a warning to its members about phishing attacks after a hacker sent emails with a “NAR: Urgent Update” subject line.

The intent of the attack wasn’t determined, but NAR reminded real estate professionals to be extra vigilant about phishing scams because client information is at stake as well.

NAR Association Counsel Jessica Edgerton wrote a blog post about how Realtors can protect buyers from phishing scams, but there’s plenty of helpful tips on how agents can protect themselves, too:

  1. Trust your gut. If an email seems suspicious, delete it.
  2. Regularly clean out your email inbox. Edgerton says a “longstanding backlog” of emails could give scammers access to sensitive information.
  3. If you have to send sensitive information via email, such as wire transfer number, make sure your email is encrypted.
  4. Change your usernames and passwords on a regular basis, and make sure your passwords aren’t “easy to guess.”
  5. Use the most up-to-date firewall and anti-virus technologies to protect your information.
  6. If you’ve been compromised, immediately change your username and password and notify anyone else who’s information could have been exposed.

Email Marian McPherson