Friday, February 6, 2009

Examples of Phishing and Its Prevention Methods

Phishing is the process of fooling a consumer into divulging personal information, such as credit card numbers or passwords, usually by sending an email carefully constructed to appear as if it's from a bank or other trusted entity, such as PayPal. Sometimes, we will receive fake emails that send by the person who claim that they are the representative of the bank to alert the customers to update their personal information due to reconstructions, systems upgrade and update of security system. This is to reveal the users personal information such as account number. Below is an example of phishing.

PayPal Example

ebay Example

Day after day, computer users are bombarded with an increasing number of phishing-based emails and attacks. However, there are few ways to prevent them. The users should always be wary of any email requesting personal information, don’t reply to any suspicious looking emails or click on any links that you're unsure of. For example, if you receive an email from Ebay requesting personal information such as your user name or password, visit Ebay directly by typing into your browser to check on your account status. Many times, phishers will include a link leading to a fake website, possibly with a similar name like that gives them full access to your sensitive information. Besides, do not use your email address on online forms that may appear to be suspicious. Doing so may cause you to be the recipient of hundreds of other phishing scams. This is just because of the people like to set up a websites to collect email addresses for the sole purpose of selling them to spammers who are willing to pay for a fresh set of target addresses. Then you also must avoid the emails with urgent requests for financial, account, or email information. Beside of that, you can use antivirus and firewall software and keep them up to date using their Update features. A firewall is used to prevent unauthorized access from a remote computer system. Antivirus and firewall software are very important because there are millions of existing viruses and new ones created everyday. Some of them have the potential to spread identity stealing programs. There really is no excuse to be without an antivirus or firewall. Many are free and are comparably as effective as many of the pay-per-license versions. Another way to prevent phishing is to make sure to carefully review your bank statements to check for unauthorized transactions. Many credit card companies have identity protection features that will reimburse you for charges made by an attacker, so long as they are promptly identified.