There have always been scams — get-rich-quick letters, pyramid schemes, fake competitions, charities that don’t exist. The Internet hasn’t increased the chance of falling prey to scammers – it just makes it easier for the scammers to get your attention. The tools available to senders of disreputable e-mail are extensive and cheap. Spam is illegal in many countries, but we still get a lot of it. The same goes for the scams that arrive in our inbox. There are various kinds of Phishing Scams.
These days, there are so many possible scams that it can be hard to tell the difference between them. The first we’ll focus on is the practice of ‘phishing’ – the word is from ‘fishing’ for consumer information, and ‘ph’ is a common replacement for ‘f’ in the hacking community. Phishing refers to the process of tricking you into giving up personal details such as your bank account or credit card details or your passwords. Phishing is so prevalent on the Internet today that if you receive an e-mail purporting to be from your bank, it’s likely to be either a criminal attempt to find out your login details and steal your money, or a real e-mail warning you to be careful of this phenomenon.
What are Phishing Scams?
The best way to obtain another person’s password is by asking them. Though it sounds silly and obvious, it is the most widely used method to obtain sensitive information. Moreover, phishing has become the Internet’s equivalent of asking for a password, and computer users fall victim every year to phishing scams.
Phishing Scam is defined in Wikipedia as the following:
“Phishing is a criminal activity using social engineering techniques. Phishers attempt to fraudulently acquire sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details, by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in electronic communication.”
Phishing means fishing for information: a bait is thrown out, and your username and password is trying to catch by hackers or thief.
What does it look like?
Phishing scams will look like a legitimate email from a legitimate company such as PayPal, your bank, or the IRS. In the message, a scare tactic might be used, such as “Your account will be terminated,” but most often, the email will simply ask you to “verify” information by logging into your account. A link to log into your account will be provided in the email message. This link will go to a website that looks exactly like the legitimate site, and you probably won’t think twice about entering your username and password.
Phishing can also occur while you are logged into your account. The social network MySpace has been hit many times by this phishing method. In this technique, a pop-up window or a new screen appears, claiming that you have been logged out, and asking you to log back in to continue using your account.
How to Avoid Phishing Scams?
One of the main concerns about anyone who does any kind of business, personal or otherwise, on the internet is identity theft. For identity theft to work, a victim has to provide the scammer with their social security number, bank account number, mother’s maiden name, PIN, other financial account numbers, or any other sensitive information so that the scammer can use that to pose as the victim and clean out existing accounts or get new accounts in the victim’s name. This method of tricking victims into providing that information by pretending they are someone they are not is called “phishing.”
Don’t click that link!
If you receive an email from a financial institution, PayPal, e-Bay or the IRS claiming the need to verify your account, or using a scare tactic such as “you owe back taxes,” take a deep breath and DO NOT click on the link provided in the email message.
If you have legitimate concerns about your account, start a new browser window and type the company’s website into the address bar of the browser to bypass the link provided by the email message. The IRS, PayPal, or your bank will NEVER send emails with a link to your log-in account.
Don’t log back in
If it looks like you have logged out of your account while working, DO NOT log back in immediately. Close your web browser completely, start a new web browser window, and go back to the site you were visiting by typing in the web address yourself in the address bar.
If you suspect Phishing activity, report the message to the company impersonated in the email.
Beware Of Not Protecting Your Computer/Data
An up-to-date firewall, anti-virus program, spam filter, and spyware detecting program go a long way in protecting you against phishing attempts. If you have a broadband Internet connection, then your computer is open to attack whenever it is turn on. A firewall can prevent hackers and other scamming entities from accessing your computer and your data. Spyware detecting software and an anti-virus program will protect your computer from what is being put on it. Whether you intentionally install a program that comes with some sort of unintended virus or spyware or if you become infected using someone infiltrating your computer, these programs help ensure the integrity of your system. A simple spam filter will reduce the number of phishing attempts that reach you. None of these systems will help protect your computer and your data if they are not installed, not turned on, or not updated.
Beware Of Procrastination If You Have Been Victimized
If you think you may have provided account numbers, PINs, or other sensitive information to a phisher or scammer, notify the companies with whom you have those accounts as soon as possible.
Beware That Phishing Can Happen Offline As Well
It is also not unexpected that you could receive a phone call from someone impersonating a bank or government agency. Use some of the same verification steps above to make sure they are who they say they are.
Thus, protect yourself from different kinds of phishing scams and rely on XA Technologies. They provide you the best-priced privacy protection software and antivirus software. The software uses advanced protection algorithms for absolute safety.