Tips And Treats
Anti Phishing Tips
Phishing - Pronounced "fishing," it is a scam to steal valuable information such as credit card and social security numbers, user IDs and passwords. Also known as "brand spoofing," an official-looking e-mail is sent to potential victims pretending to be from their ISP, bank or retail establishment. E-mails can be sent to people on selected lists or on any list, expecting that some percentage of recipients will actually have an account with the real organization.
The number and sophistication of phishing scams sent out to consumers is continuing to increase dramatically. While online banking and e-commerce is very safe, as a general rule you should be careful about giving out your personal financial information over the Internet. Here we have put fort a few tips that will help you keep your Identity safe from these anti social elements..
Last Updated - 7th October 2005
E-Mail Is the "Bait"
The e-mail states that due to internal accounting errors or some other pretext, certain information must be updated to continue your service. A link in the message directs the user to a Web page that asks for financial information. The page looks genuine, because it is easy to fake a valid Web site. Any HTML page on the Web can be copied and modified to suit the phishing scheme.
How to Avoid Phishing Scams
- Be suspicious of any e-mail with urgent requests for personal financial information unless the e-mail is digitally signed, you can't be sure it wasn't forged or 'spoofed' phishers typically include upsetting or exciting (but false) statements in their e-mails to get people to react immediately
they typically ask for information such as usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, social security numbers, etc.
- Phisher e-mails are typically NOT personalized, while valid messages from your bank or e-commerce company generally are
- Don't use the links in an e-mail to get to any web page, if you suspect the message might not be authentic instead, call the company on the telephone, or log onto the website directly by typing in the Web address in your browser.
- Avoid filling out forms in e-mail messages that ask for personal financial information you should only communicate information such as credit card numbers or account information via a secure website or the telephone
- Always ensure that you're using a secure website when submitting credit card or other sensitive information via your Web browser to make sure you're on a secure Web server, check the beginning of the Web address in your browsers address bar - it should be "https://" rather than just "http://"
- Consider installing a Web browser tool bar to help protect you from known phishing fraud websites
- EarthLink ScamBlocker is part of a free browser toolbar that alerts you before you visit a page that's on Earthlink's list of known fraudulent phisher Web sites. Its free to all Internet users - download at http://www.earthlink.net/earthlinktoolbar
- Regularly log into your online accounts, don't leave it for as long as a month before you check each account
- Regularly check your bank, credit and debit card statements to ensure that all transactions are legitimate if anything is suspicious, contact your bank and all card issuers
- Ensure that your browser is up to date and security patches applied in particular, people who use the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser should immediately go to the Microsoft Security home page -- http://www.microsoft.com/security/ -- to download a special patch relating to certain phishing schemes
What To Do If You've Given Out Your Personal Financial Information
- If you have given out your credit or debit or ATM card information
- Report the theft of this information to the card issuer as quickly as possible
- Many companies have toll-free numbers and 24-hour service to deal with such emergencies.
- Cancel your account and open a new one
- Review your billing statements carefully after the loss
- If they show any unauthorized charges, it's best to send a letter to the card issuer describing each questionable charge.
- Credit Card Loss or Fraudulent Charges (FCBA).
- Your maximum liability under federal law for unauthorized use of your credit card is $50.
- If the loss involves your credit card number, but not the card itself, you have no liability for unauthorized use
- ATM or Debit Card Loss or Fraudulent Transfers (EFTA).
- Your liability under federal law for unauthorized use of your ATM or debit card depends on how quickly you report the loss.
- You risk unlimited loss if you fail to report an unauthorized transfer within 60 days after your bank statement containing unauthorized use is mailed to you
- If you have given out your bank account information
- Report the theft of this information to the bank as quickly as possible
- Cancel your account and open a new on
- If you have downloaded a virus or Trojan
- Some phishing attacks use viruses and/or Trojans to install programs called "key loggers" on your computer. These programs capture and send out any information that you type to the phisher, including credit card numbers, usernames and passwords, Social Security Numbers, etc. In this case, you should:
- Install and/or update anti-virus and personal firewall software
- Update all virus definitions and run a full scan
- Confirm every connection your firewall allows
- If your system appears to have been compromised, fix it and then change your password again, since you may well have transmitted the new one to the hacker
- Check your other accounts! The hackers may have helped themselves to many different accounts:
- Check your e-mail ISP, online bank accounts, online trading accounts, and other e-commerce accounts, and everything else for which you use online password.
Disclaimer: The Anti Phishing Tips / Information presented and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of Tips And Treats . com and/or its partners.
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