In last week's Coffee Break newsletter, we included an article about email phishing scams and how to identify them. Now that you can more easily pick them out from the crowd, we want to arm you with some tips on how you can protect yourself from phishing attempts. By protecting yourself, you reduce your chances of being exposed to phishing emails.

The first layer of protection is your email spam filter. It works well to stop simple email scams from landing in your inbox. However, phishing emails come in all forms and levels of complexity. Scammers continually make advancements to get past email filters, so you should add extra layers of defense.

Install security software on your computer. Security software provides data and network security in a variety of forms, such as protection from viruses, malware, unauthorized users, and internet breaches. Some types of security software are anti-virus software, firewall software, network security software, Internet security software, malware/spamware removal software, and cryptographic software.

Set your software to update automatically. Software updates include performance and security improvements. Using the latest update keeps your software running safely and efficiently.

Use multi-factor authentication to protect your accounts. Multi-factor authentication offers extra security because it requires users to provide two or more credentials to log in to their accounts. If scammers have your username and password, the extra multi-factor authentication credentials make it harder for them to access your accounts.

Perform regular backups. It's essential to have backups of your files just in case you have hard drive failures, your system crashes, or you've had a malware security breach. By doing backups to an external drive or the cloud, you will still have access to all your files.

In next week's Coffee Break newsletter, we will share tips on what to do if you think you have been phished.