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Monday, January 3, 2011

How to avoid phishing scams

Phishing is the term coined by Internet scammers who imitate legitimate companies in emails to entice people to share user names, passwords, account information or credit-card numbers.

The term phishing comes from the fact that Internet scammers are using increasingly sophisticated lures as they “fish” for users’ private information. The most common ploy is to copy the look and feel of a web page from a major site and use that design to set up a nearly identical page that appears to be part of the company’s site. Follow the guidelines below and you’ll be well on your way to a more safe online experience ..

Remember to always be suspicious of any email that requests personal account information, such as solicitations for usernames, passwords, account numbers or any other personal data. Just because it looks like it came from an authentic source, doesn’t mean that it did. Take the MailFrontier Phishing IQ Test II to see how good you are at spotting fake emails.

Always ensure that you’re using a secure server when submitting credit card information. To make sure you’re using a secure server, check the beginning of the web address in your browsers address bar – it should be https:// rather than just http://.

Contact your bank or credit card company if you think you may have replied to a fraudulent email with sensitive personal information.

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