What exactly is phishing? Phishing occurs when someone impersonates an official looking website, or any other entity on the Internet that appears to be official. Phishing is the deliberate attempt to gain sensitive information, including usernames, email addresses, passwords, credit card information, or any other sensitive personal information by impersonating themselves as an official entity in an electronic message. While phishing has been around since the inception of the Internet, the recent rash of phishing attacks on organizations and individuals who frequent online forums and social media sites show a new level of sophistication. This increased level of sophistication has also brought about an increased need for security awareness training in organizations.
There are a number of different types of phishing scams, ranging from the straightforward and inexpensive phishing scams which simply ask for information to high tech phishing scams used to target financial institution customers and private individuals. The more sophisticated phishing scams are often linked to a cyber crime, including identity theft and other fraud. An email might appear to be from your bank or your credit card company. For further information, you may be asked to click on a link or enter your personal information. If this sounds familiar, it’s probably phishing. If you encounter emails like this, it’s best to report it to the National Cyber Security Association.
The latest phishing scams rely on viruses, fake security programs, and Trojans. Often, the viruses are attached to legitimate-looking documents that look like they came from your bank or credit card company. You might have been led to think that you are downloading an update for a free security program when in reality, a virus is hiding on your system. Other phishing emails might claim to be from a reputable source, like the IRS, or the United States Department of Justice.
In recent years, computer security has become a very important issue. Phishing emails are a big problem. Because of the rising number of phishing emails every day, the federal government is actively working to make sure that the information provided by businesses regarding their customer’s personal information is safe. Recently, the Department of Homeland Security issued a security warning about phishing emails.
Phishing emails might contain a download or file that installs malware onto your computer. Other emails might offer you a free download or fake website. These fake websites often install spyware onto your machine and can steal your personal information. You can protect yourself from these dangerous phishing scams by following the tips below.
Stay away from pop up ads that claim to provide answers to all your questions. Often, these messages are phishing scams meant to get you to click on a link or buy a product. The real phishers will send you emails that ask you to visit a fake website or give you personal information. Stay away from these kinds of messages.
If you receive phishing emails that require you to enter your personal information, deleting them straight away is a good idea. Never open any attachments from emails if they look familiar to you. Even if you think they are harmless, it is a good idea to delete the attachment before you even look at it. More often than not, phishing emails have bugs in the attachments, which can potentially expose your personal information.
It is always best to be safe than sorry when it comes to dealing with phishing emails. Before taking any steps forward, make sure you have followed all of the steps outlined above. Even if you think that the message is harmless, verify that it really is one. Be sure that you do not act impulsively as these scammers can easily attach additional viruses to your system if you let your guard down too long.