Sunday, 17 June 2007

How to Avoid Phishing Scams

Phishing scams can sabotage a user's personal information and
lead to multiple problems in safeguarding confidential
information. Phishing scams are on the rise as more people turn
to the internet for online banking, shopping, and other
financial transactions that are connected to their personal bank
accounts. As a result, hackers and criminals are taking steps to
catch these consumers as they enter information. A common
phishing tactic is to pose as a legitimate company and lure
visitors to a website; the user is asked to enter their login
information but do not realize they are sending this information
to a third party instead.

A phishing attack can have dangerous consequences, but there
are many ways to avoid title="Delete Spyware" target="_blank">phishing scams.
Phishers generally request immediate action, adding a sense of
urgency to each and every message. Knowing how to identify these
messages will help reduce or eliminate your risk as a phishing
target. The first step in avoiding phishing scams is to double
check the source of any e-mails. If you need to call the company
or financial institution to verify the source, then take the
steps to do so. It's important that you never share account
information over the internet, unless you are 100% sure the site
is secure and it is for a legitimate purpose. It's a good idea
to check your bank accounts on a regular basis, and learn about
any fraudulent behavior.

Many phishing attacks take place through bulk e-mail requests,
and these may or may not end up in your spam folder. Although
many large financial institutions send out bulk e-mails, it's
important to white list as many of these companies as possible.
This can help you sort through the legitimate correspondence and
any fraudulent ones, reducing your risk overall. Always be sure
never to fill out and send back personal information within an
e-mail, unless it has been verified or requested by a real
person. These are ideal ways for phishers to find victims,
especially when you are asked to enter personal financial

It's important to be vigilant about e-mail links. This is the
primary tactic used by many phishing scams to redirect you to
another page. A link out of any e-mail may take you to an
insecure site or network, and it's likely that these sites are
also monitored or being recorded. If you are not well-protected
with the appropriate security software, you are increasing your
risk even further by visiting these potentially threatening
sites. Make sure you are using secure website software to
monitor web browser activity as often as possible.

Another strategy to prevent phishing scams is to make sure your
browser and computer are up to date, and that you have
downloaded any necessary security patches. You can avoid
phishing attacks simply by keeping your computer and performance
in good order. Reporting phishing attacks as often as possible
will also help reduce your risk of attack; when you detect
fraudulent behavior, be sure to contact the authentic site's
administration to report the incident or incidents.

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Author: Joshua

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