Monday, December 1, 2008

Understanding Phishing

Phishing is the term which is used to describe the activity of a hackers who imitate legitimate companies in e-mails to entice people to share passwords or credit-card numbers and clicking the links in the e-mail people were directed to bogus Web pages that looked nearly identical to the companies' sites. In othe words, Phishing is the act of sending an e-mail to a user falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft. The e-mail directs the user to visit a Web site where they are asked to update personal information, such as passwords and credit card, social security, and bank account numbers, that the legitimate organization already has. The Web site, however, is bogus and set up only to steal the user’s information.

Tips on how to avoid the phishing are as follows:

· If you receive an unexpected e-mail saying your account will be shut down unless you confirm your billing information, do not reply or click any links in the e-mail body. If you want to check the details open the website of your bank by typing the URL and not from the link provided in the e-mail.

· Before submitting financial information through a Web site, look for the "lock" icon on the browser's status bar. It means your information is secure during transmission. In this case also you can be cheated. Always open the original web site by typing the URL.

· If you are uncertain about the information, contact the company through an address or telephone number you know. Do not use the Telephone no. or address provided by the site. Always keep the telephone number and address of your institution for ready reference.

· If you unknowingly supplied personal or financial information, contact your bank and credit card company immediately to avoid any misuse of your account/ card.
Some times bogus websites are opened in place of the original one and they look like the same as the original one. Any changes in the outlay of the web site may clearly viewed and if you have any doubt do not work with that site further. Any small spelling mistake in the URL may lead to the opening of a web site exactly look likes the original one.
Following these precautions you can protect yourselves from phishing in a better way.

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