Security For Computer Users
Avoiding the Phishers
Identity thieves are using more sophisticated methods to get consumers to divulge their personal and confidential information.
Phishing is fraudulent e-mail that tries to dupe recipients into providing their personal and financial information, such as credit card numbers or online banking passwords
It works this way: By "spoofing" e-mails, phishing attacks make it appear as if the messages comes from a legitimate organization that a home user may have dealt with, such as a bank or a credit card company. The e-mail may request account details for "urgent security reasons." The message may also point the recipient to a "spoofed" website that resembles the real financial site
According to a VISA survey of 1,200 Canadians, the majority of respondents with an e-mail address and internet access have never heard of "phishing and, if their bank or credit card company requested personal information via e-mail, nearly 60 per cent of those surveyed admitted they would likely supply that information.
How to avoid getting "Phished" in:
- Don't respond to e-mails requesting your personal information
- Legitimate companies do not ask their customers for confidential information in an e-mail
- Bad spelling and grammar are giveaways that an e-mail isn't from a reputable company
- Phishers will often make an urgent claim such as "your account will be closed"
- If in doubt, phone the business in question
- Use a phone number that you've obtained from a reliable source, and not from the suspect e-mail.
- Don't open attachments or download files
- Phishers can use these to infect your computer with a virus or spyware.
- Don't click on links inside e-mails
- If you're uncertain about a website address that appears in an e-mail go to your browser and enter the legitimate address manually
- Phishers can use links to point recipients to a "spoofed" site, using an address similar to a real bank's URL (web address)
- Protect your computer
- Use updated anti-virus software
- Load the latest security patches for your operating system and browser
- Install a firewall to help protect your system from unwanted attention
- Anti-spam software can help stop phishing e-mails from getting into your inbox.
- Report suspicious e-mails.
- Notify the legitimate company if you receive any e-mails that you think might be fraudulent
- If you think you've been reeled in by phishers and provided confidential information, contact the companies that hold those personal accounts as well as the police department
- You can also file a report with email@example.com
- Review your credit card and bank statements every month to check for errors or unauthorized transactions
It only takes a few minutes to protect yourself so be sure and be safe.
What is Spyware?
Spyware is a general term for programs that could monitor your computer use or look for personal data stored on your computer. We'll talk about that tomorrow.
As always, should you have any questions about your computer, do not hesitate in picking up the phone or writing... better to contact me and be sure.
Tom @ Tata Computers