Three Ways to Keep Epsilon Spammers from Phishing Your Money!

On March 30, Epsilon, one of the world’s largest email marketing companies, reported a breach of their system.  Epsilon sends more than 40 billion emails a year to consumers who register on one of their clients’ websites or who give their email addresses while shopping.

Have You Received an Email Like This One?

“Dear Valued Customer,
On March 30th, we were informed by Epsilon, a company we use to send emails to our customers, that files containing the email addresses of some [company name here] customers were accessed without authorization.”

Millions of people have. As of April 18, 2011, clients of more than 100 companies and brands have been hit, including big names like GlaxoSmithKline, Shell, Radio Shack, PacSun, Capital One, JPMorgan Chase, J. Jill, Sears, Crate & Barrel, Walgreens and Abercrombie & Fitch.

According to Epsilon, the breach was limited to email addresses or customer names only; they report that no other personal identifiable information was stolen. Despite that, many security experts are concerned about the implications.

Having even a person’s email address and their spending habits or favorite brands may make it easier to craft a sophisticated phishing attack. For example, you could get an email that appears to be from a company you know and trust, asking you to log in and provide  information that may seem harmless. This nefarious technique is called “spear-phishing”.

Prevent Phishing Attacks

1.  Stay on guard – especially now. Be extra careful about where you click and what information you enter on a website.

2.  Scrutinize emails from any company. Look for typos and strange URLs. Look at the email address of the sender. Don’t click on those links!

3.  Call the company in question if you get a suspicious email,. No company should be asking you for sensitive information by email.

If you have questions about identity theft in Maine, contact Noyes Hall & Allen, a Maine Trusted Choice independent insurance agent. If you’re looking for Maine data breach business insurance, our business insurance specialists can help.  Call us at 207-799-5541.

Thanks to Steve Anderson for sharing these tips, which we’re sharing with his permission.

Progressive Snapshot Debuts in Maine. 5 Questions To Ask to See if It’s Right for You

Progressive Insurance’s Snapshot auto insurance discount launches in Maine today, featuring rates up to 30% less than before. Our South Portland, Maine insurance agency has been certified to sell this ground-breaking safe driving and low-mileage auto insurance discount. It features a small device that you install in your vehicle, which monitors your driving habits and may provide an auto insurance discount depending upon the results.

Our March 15 blog post featured a detailed explanation of Progressive’s Snapshot auto insurance discount, along with our opinion about it. We received a lot of compliments about that review, from other agents, vendors – even Progressive itself.

Is it Right For You?

The answers to these 5 questions will probably tell you.

1. Do you avoid driving regularly between midnight and 4am?

2. Do you avoid driving in heavily congested traffic?

3. Do you drive fewer than 8,000 miles a year?

4. Are you a “patient driver” (rarelybrake hard or accelerate rapidly)?

5. Will you plug a device into your car that automatically reports your driving information directly to your insurance company?

If you answered “yes” to 2 or 3 of the first 4 questions, Snapshot may be a good fit for you. If you answered “no” to question 5, forget it; you can only earn Snapshot discounts by installing (and leaving) the device in your vehicle. Remember, Snapshot is optional, and you can choose which of your vehicles you want to enroll in the discount program.

Your Maine Progressive insurance agent can advise you best. If you live in the Portland, Maine auto insurance market, call Noyes Hall & Allen at 207-799-5541. If you’re outside our market area, call your local Progressive agent.