How to keep yourself safe from ‘phishing’ scams

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - If the Associated Press can be hacked, what chance does the average person have against determined hackers and digital world scam artists?  One local expert says with the right protection and a cautious approach, you have a fighting chance.

Some media reports say the hacked twitter account could have been caused by a phishing attempt sent earlier in the day to Associated Press employees.

Ed Van Buskirk from We Are Info Tech, a computer security company, says hacking can happen to anyone if they're not being careful.

He recommends getting a good firewall that updates continuously to keep up with new phishing websites looking to get your inofrmation, and you should also protect your tablets and phones.

"Really they're not phones.  They're computers with phone technology," Van Buskirk said.

For phones and tablets, he recommends anti virus, anti spyware, and anti-spam protection, plus don't allow your tablet to always be connected to WiFi.

"Have it set up so that only connects to trusted WiFi hot spots is important," he explained.

Van Buskirk says if you get an email that seems suspicious and includes a link to another site, don't click it unless you're positive it's legit.

"It could be saying click here and then behind the scenes, it could be if you click here it's going to enable access to the code that's at that website to do other things on your computer," he said.

He says one thing that tips off a fake link- is looking at the URL, if it claims to be a link for Fox 4, for example, but doesn't have Fox 4 in the very beginning, it's probably not safe.

Van Buskirk says if you're on the fence about a link you receive, go to the website you're told the link is from independently, if the URL's don't match, you've just saved yourself a headache.  Van Buskirk says with the proper protections, you shouldn't need to worry much about hackers.

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