5 steps to protect yourself from online phishing scams

@kcbomba (616)
United States
April 29, 2009 7:33am CST
Phishing attacks have become more sophisticated and computer users need simple steps they can use to protect themselves against these scams. You can use these 5 simple steps below, to protect yourself from these phishing scams. Goodluck to you all. 1. Be Skeptical: It is better to err on the side of caution. Unless you are 100% sure that a particular message is legitimate, assume it is not. You should never supply your username, password, account number or any other personal or confidential information via email and you should not reply directly to the email in question. Ed Skoudis says “If the user really suspects that an e-mail is legit, they should: 1) close their e-mail client, 2) close ALL browser windows, 3) open a brand new browser, 4) surf to the e-commerce company's site as they normally would. If there's anything wrong with their account, there will be a message at the site when they log in. We need people to close their mail readers and browsers first, just in case an attacker sent a malicious script or pulled another fast one to direct the user to a different site.” 2. Report Suspicious Activity: If you receive emails that are part of a phishing scam or even seem suspicious you should report them. Douglas Schweitzer says "Report suspicious e-mails to your ISP and be sure to also report them to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at www.ftc.gov". . 3. Do Your Homework: When your bank statements or account details arrive, be it in print or through electronic means, analyze them closely. Make sure there are no transactions that you can’t account for and that all of the decimals are in the right spots. Should you figure anything fishy/any problems contact the company or financial institution in question immediately to notify them. 4. Web Browser Can Warn You: The latest generation web browsers, such as Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 2.0 come with built in phishing protection. These browsers will analyze web sites and compare them against known or suspected phishing sites and warn you if the site you are visiting may be malicious or illegitimate. 5. Do It The Old-Fashioned Way: An even safer means of verifying if an email regarding your account is legitimate or not is to simply delete the email and pick up the phone. Rather than risking that you may somehow be emailing the attacker or mis-directed to the attacker’s replica web site, just call customer service and explain what the email stated to verify if there is truly a problem with your account or if this is simply a phishing scam
1 response
@sambilay (171)
• Philippines
29 Apr 09
thanks for the information. i was since a victim of e-mails saying that they will pay me but i will pay first. luckily i did not and found out it is a scam.
@kcbomba (616)
• United States
29 Apr 09
You're welcome. You see, all these phishing and scamming thing can be curbed - most times, if only we know the obvious/basics. Some who get scammed , fall into it with just the artifice that anyone with basic knowledge of these things can naturally detect .