How can you keep Internet phisher's from you and your family? A few precautions can save you a lot of trouble. The FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) say's "The term "phishing" – as in fishing for confidential information - refers to a scam that encompasses fraudulently obtaining and using an individual's personal or financial information." http://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/alerts/phishing.html
Hear are some things you can do to keep safe:
- Use care when opening your e-mail. A phisher may use your own user name in the subject line.
- Do not click on a link in the e-mail of someone you do not know. The link may look official; however, it may be a phisher trying to steal personal information. If you are curious, type the link yourself.
- Take the precaution of using software to help protect you from harmful and damaging programs on the computer. Use a firewall, plus anti-virus and anti-spyware software.
- Change your password from time-to-time. Never assume that no one will guess your password.
- Use different passwords for different sites. If someone does manage to hack into one of the sites you use, it is less likely that they will gain access to your other accounts with the same password.
- Never use your social security number or other valuable numbers as your password.
- Don't throw your old computer away until all of the files on the hard disk have been overwritten. An old computer in the wrong hands can cause catastrophic personal damage to you, your family and your friends.
- Online privacy and cyber-stalking has become a real issue. Make sure your children understand that their may be dire consequences when they go into chat rooms and other sites where they may be encouraged to talk about themselves and inadvertently pass on too much personal information.
- While you know not to open those "You have been selected" e-mails, you make receive an e-mail that appears to be from your bank or other entity that you use. If you do open the e-mail and you are not addressed the way you usually are from the same entity, go no further. Delete the e-mail and sign into your bank account, etc. the you normally do.
- Did you know that PayPal always addresses its member list by their first and last name?
- There are a few bogus security sites that have annoying pop ups that warn you that you have numerous security problems, when in fact you do not. These sites urge you to click to find out problem. Go to your own security settings to see if you really have an invasion of spyware and other malware.