Most of us may have come across at least a dozen scams on the internet trying to lure us into their world. Identity thieves are out there, and ignorance to learn about few innocent mistakes can lead to their success. What we need to know is the wide range of scams that we might fall for, because what we don’t know will often hurt us. Below is a snippet of information about a bait that scammers use called ‘phishing’.
The most common form of phishing used by hackers is through emails. Every day hundreds and hundreds of emails are sent to unsuspecting users and many users believe them. Identity thieves in fact have become slick with phishing and consider it as an easy way to invade. Many security companies have invented ways to protect their systems and networks from most types of phishing, but their efforts are often thwarted by these thieves. The main issue in trying to prevent email phishing is to figure out its origination. Anyone can use any email with fake return address and hence it has become a burden for both security companies as well as users to differentiate between real and counterfeit versions. The same thing is true with other forms of phishing.
Links are also a popular way for scammers to steal people’s personal and confidential information on the internet. Here, identity thieves use URL that appears to have come from a legitimate source and is asking to click on it. Once clicked, the link will redirect the user to an untraceable destination where data is collected, stored and misused. Again, anyone can create a phishing website that resides on one of the hundreds and thousands of free web hosting sites around the world. The user has no way of knowing who really sent it or where it came from in most cases. Certain URLs may feel like it came from your bank or credit union. In fact, these URLs seem identical with the real bank URL. This is one of the reasons why link phishing has become a success among scammers.
Attachments with emails may be tempting for many users, but little do they know that they can be dangerous to their computer systems. Once opened, these attachments can wreak havoc, stealing personal data as well as corrupting files and folders.
So, how do you avoid becoming a victim of phishing on the internet? Well, there are many ways and one of them is paying attention to email address, URL or attachments that is being received. Another way is to opt for system protection from companies that offer this service. When it comes to emails, if there is any doubt, it is best to not provide any confidential information. Calling the institution where the email came from can help you determine if the email is legitimate. Never open an attachment regardless of who sent it unless you are expecting it and know the source. After all, just a small mistake is enough to compromise your entire computer.