Information Security

Don’t Take the Bait: Best Practices to Avoid Phishing Schemes and Keep Email Safe

We live in a world that is more connected than ever before. The Internet and email make shopping, banking, business, and communicating on-the-go fast and convenient. However, the immediacy of these online systems also comes with greater exposure and less privacy. Hackers try to exploit the weaknesses of email communication to steal personally identifiable information (PII). The challenges of hacking demand greater security in our email activity.

In particular, hackers use phishing schemes to steal personal or business information for their gain or profit. These schemes, known as phishing attempts, can greatly compromise your professional or personal well-being. CyberSafe at USPS™ is highlighting key tips and best practices to identify and avoid phishing attempts when navigating your personal and business inboxes.

CyberSafe at USPS encourages the public to consider the security of their email communications before connecting to unknown users, or opening unknown hyperlinks or attachments embedded with unsolicited emails. USPS® is a partner to the Department of Homeland Security in their efforts to generate awareness about information security. DHS’s campaign addresses email safety in its motto, asking the public to “Stop. Think. Connect.”

CyberSafe at USPS offers key tips to identify phishing attempts. Consider the following steps when reviewing an email:

n Assess the sender — make sure you recognize the sender or the email address.

n Check for errors — mistakes in grammar or spelling can indicate a phishing attempt.

n Question attachments and links — consider what you are opening and make sure it’s from a reliable source.

After identifying a phishing trap, avoid clicking on embedded links or attachments and report the message as spam prior to deleting it.

The CyberSafe at USPS website ( includes additional helpful tips to spot phishing scams and avoid the theft of personal or business information sent on your personal and business email addresses.

“When you’re online, it’s important to stop and think before you click on links in emails, open attachments or give out personal information,” said Acting Chief Information Security Office and Digital Solutions Vice President, Greg Crabb.

Email safety is a top priority for USPS employees, suppliers, and customers — don’t take the bait! By keeping our personal and business email accounts secure, we can proactively prevent the theft of important information. As a community, information security is our shared responsibility.

For more information on staying safe online and avoiding phishing attempts, visit the tips tab on the DHS website at