Phishing is a type of online scam that aims to collect personal and financial information from an intended target. The scam is executed by way of receiving an e-mail message from a seemingly known and reputable company like a bank, an online site or some other financial institution.
The message that you will receive will present a situation that is affecting the company and its clients, it could be about a security issue, a computer system failure, a computer system and account upgrade. In most cases, you will be asked to click on a link to open a web page where you will be required to enter your personal, financial or any account-related information to save the account or remedy the problem.
This sort of message is sent to many recipients with the hope that a certain percentage of people will open the link.
You can avoid phishing scams by being properly informed. The following tips will keep you well informed and alert:
1. Keep antivirus up to date.
Your antivirus software must be up to date because the vendors always have signatures that protect. If your antivirus software is not up to date, the phishing attacks can hijack your web browser and put you at risk.
2. Avoid clicking on hyperlinks in e-mails.
Hyperlinks from unknown sources should never be clicked on. Some of these links can take you to fake HTMLs and scam you by asking you to type sensitive information. If you must check out the link, just manually retype the link into a web browser. Be careful of emails that come from sources you cannot recognize.
They will usually ask you to confirm personal or financial information over the Internet with some making urgent requests for this information. Watch out for emails that are not personalized or those that try to upset you into acting quickly through threatening you with frightening information.
3. You should use anti-spyware software.
Install an active spyware solution, this helps to detect if there is a problem with your browser. Make sure you protect your computer with a firewall and spam filters. Do research and ensure that you are getting the most up-to-date software, and update them all regularly so that you block your computer from new viruses and spyware.
4. Do not enter sensitive information into pop-up windows.
One of the most common phishing techniques is to launch a bogus pop-up window when you click on a link in a phishing e-mail message. The right way to close the pop-up window is by clicking on the X at the top-right corner. You need to avoid clicking cancel as it may send you to another link or download a malicious code. Avoid also copying web addresses from your pop-up screen to your browser.
5. Phone phishing.
Watch out also for phone phishing schemes and avoid divulging personal information over the phone unless you have initiated the call or you can recognize the caller. Be careful of emails that will ask you to call a phone number to update your account information.
6. Online Bank accounts.
Make sure you check your online accounts and bank statements regularly as this ensures that no unauthorized transactions have been made.