Katie LaSalle Lowerey is chief administrator of Centric Internet Services in Missoula, and sent out a notice to all of her clients warning of a phishing scam.

LaSalle Lowery said a notice that reads ‘E-mail Validation’ appeared on her screen recently.

“The email that I sent out today was sent out because I myself received an email this morning that appeared to be from an email service that said my account had been compromised and needed to be validated,” said LaSalle Lowerey. “Well, since I’m the network administrator, that the network administrator, that’s me, did not send that, so I took that as an opportunity to send that warning to all our clients.”

LaSalle Lowerey said it is not wise to tie your important computer functions to a single email address.

“Any account that uses your email as an anchor where they’re going to send you a password reset link, if the bad guy gets your email, they also get access to all those other accounts,” she said. “It may not seem like such a big deal for them to get access to some things. Maybe you don’t use Facebook that much and you don’t have anything private in messages, but they could destroy your reputation, as well.”

LaSalle Lowery has some tips for creating a truly secure password.

“Always use good strong passwords, at least 14 characters including a combination of letters, numbers, upper and lower case and symbols,” she said. “Never include anything that a malicious 10 year-old could find out about you. “Never use part of your name, your street address, your mother’s maiden name, your pet’s name, anything that someone snooping on the internet could find very easily.”

LaSalle Lowery said whatever internet service you use, keep track of who sends you emails, contact your administrator and change your password if you suspect problems.