How can I fight phishers ?

The cyberspace can be a dangerous thing to surf in as more and more malicious people try to steal your information, scam you of your money and trap you into various types of scams. Today, one of the most profitable scams is called “phishing”, wherein a victim unconsciously gives his or her personal information to a cyber criminal thinking that he or she is communicating or responding to a request from the bank, creditors and other businesses. Criminals use this method to steal credit card information, or worse, your identity. Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent phishing.

The first thing you can do is install and use a trusted e-mail reader, such as Eudora or Microsoft Outlook, which are designed to filter out “malicious” e-mails. Although web-based e-mail programs have spam detection installed, they often fail to recognize the authenticity of emails, making it easy for criminals to steal information.

When you receive an e-mail asking for your personal information, never give them out. Banks and other businesses you deal with would never ask you to repeat personal details, such as your driver’s license number or Social Security Number, particularly through e-mail. However, if they do ask your information via mail, call the company cited in your e-mail if the request is indeed legitimate.

Programs designed as an attachment to web browsers can be installed to help you pinpoint possible websites that may be a threat to your online surfing. These programs are usually available at no cost with new versions of Internet security software. Additional security could also help you detect Trojan horses, which are programs made to redirect your web browser to the scammer’s site every time you try to access your bank or other businesses online. However, since most Trojans, viruses and worms are attached to the e-mail, you can prevent phishing by not opening attachments sent by unreliable sources.

One of the most distinct features of phishing e-mails is most of them have typographical errors and bad grammar since such e-mail usually come from other countries. However, be aware that some phishing mails have perfect grammar and spelling, so be very careful in replying to all your e-mails.

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