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Monday, May 28, 2012

Phishing Awareness and Tips: Don't Get Robbed Online!

Have you ever been phished? Phishing (just like fishing) is a form to catch someone! Yes, catch them from their own acts and defraud them! According dictionary reference, phishing would be:

to try to obtain financial or other confidential information from Internet users, typically by sending an e-mail that looks as if it is from a legitimate organization usually a financial institution, but contains a link to a fake Web site that replicates the real one.
verb (used with object)
to make (someone) a victim in this way: If you've been phished, you should cancel your credit cards immediately.
The other day, I got the below warning and tippy message from my bank aginst phishing. These apply to you too! Feel free to digest them and don't let yourself be fished, or else, you'll end up being cooked!

Dear  client,

Please be advised that there is a growing number of reported phishing incidents online. Unscrupulous entities will send a message to your email asking for your vital personal and financial data such as your user name password or bank account as if it were from a legitimate source for the purpose of committing fraud. They may also ask you to click on a link or download an attachment to update your pertinent information there.

Your first line of defense against phishing is to be vigilant. Protect yourself by keeping the following in mind:

1. No legitimate business, such as us as a banking entities, will ask for your important personal and financial information like your user name and password via email.

2. Ignore phishing messages. Do not be coerced into following their instructions simply because they have threatened you that something will happen to your account. (i.e. your account will be permanently blocked) if you don't respond.

3. Report the phishing incident to the company they are fraudulently using so that they can enforce appropriate security measures.

4. Be on the lookout for spelling and grammatical errors in your email messages to determine if it's a hoax or a legitimate one. BANK for instance may be spelled as BAKN which at first glance may seem the right spelling or letter O is replaced by the number 0 (zero) to fool the recipient.

5. Beware of clicking on links contained in email messages as this may just be one of the ploys to get pertinent data from you. If you want to access the official site, type the website in your browser's address bar or add it to your bookmarks instead. When logging on to your internet banking facilities, the default URL address you may enter yourself to be more safe.

6. Exercise caution when opening attachments or downloading files. These may contain viruses or software that may pose security threats to your computer.

7. Update your user password regularly(regularly change password). Do not use passwords that can be easily attributed to you such as your name or birthday.

8. Regularly monitor your bank accounts and credit cards.

For any phishing-related concerns or problems on the use of an entity's name, it would be smart to inform that entity that phishers are into them using their entity name illegaly.

Be safe online!

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