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Monday, May 30, 2011

What are phishing scams and how can I avoid them?

What are phishing scams and how can I avoid them?
* Phishing explained
* Avoid phishing scams
* Notices
* Report phishing attempts

Phishing explained
Phishing scams are e-mail fraud, usually seem to come from legitimate businesses (eg, universities, Internet service provider, your bank). These messages usually direct you to a fake site or not to take him to disclose private information (eg, password, credit card or other account updates.) The criminals then use this private information to commit identity type theft.One phishing scam is an e-mail stating that you are getting due to fraudulent activity on your account, you andasking "click here" to verify their information. Here's an example below.Phishing strokes are crude tools of social engineering designed to induce panic in the reader. These scams attempt to trick recipients into clicking or respond immediately, saying that they will lose something (eg email, bank account). This statement is always indicative of a phishing scam, as companies and organizations responsible never have that kind of action by e-mail.

Avoid phishing scams
Be suspicious of any e-mail that asks you to enter or verify personal information through a Web site or responding to the message itself. Never reply or click on the links in a message. If you think the message might be legitimate, go directly to the company web site (ie, enter the actual URL in your browser) or contact the company to see if you really do need to take steps described in message.When e-mail to recognize a phishing message, delete the message from your email inbox, and then empty it from deleted items folder to avoid accidentally accessing sites that to.Always points of view as your e-mail plain text. Phishing messages often contain clickable images that look legitimate, when reading messages in plain text, you can see the URLs that point to any image. Also, when you allow your mail client to read HTML or text not only from others, attackers can take advantage of your mail client's ability to execute code, which leaves your computer vulnerable to viruses, worms and Trojans. To learn more, read on Windows, how do I force my email client to display messages as text only?

Reading email in plain text is a general best-practice, which, while avoiding some phishing scams, do not avoid them all. Some legitimate sites use redirect scripts that there is no redirection. Consequently, the authors of phishing can use these scripts to redirect legitimate sites to fake his sites.Another tactic is to use a homograph attack, which due to the International Domain Name (IDN) support in modern browsers allows attackers to use different language character sets to produce URLs that look very much like the authentic.See Do not Trust Your Eyes or URLs
Report phishing attempts
You can report these attempts at phishing scam to the company being spoofed. You can also send reports to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Depending on where you live, some local authorities also accept reports phishing scam. And finally, you can send information to the Anti-Phishing Working Group, which is building a database of common schemes for people to consult

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