Secure your Computer

By: Kelly Kita

Phishing: Compromised Security

Kelly Staller Copyright(c) 2007

StarReviews.com

Compromised Internet security and stolen identity have been drilled into our heads from many different standpoints. The media incessantly reports the threats lurking on the Net and how to guard oneself against unforeseen dangers. Your next-door-neighbor may have a story about someone sending her a phishing email who changed her America Online password, keeping her from being able to log on the Web.

What exactly is phishing? This is a malicious practice that requires caution and internet security tools in the fight against it. Phishing is the attempt to steal one's identity. Many of us have received so-called "warning" emails that look and read as if they came from Bank of America. The colors are exactly the same and the logo is completely identical.

However, what an unaware victim may not realize is most banks do not ask for their customer's passwords, Social Security number or pin through email. These phishing scams often do through links in the email that take the victim to a pseudo-site that portrays itself as the authentic bank site.

Little do they know, it was designed by a hacker to steal their personal information.

Here are some helpful how-to's on guarding against phishing scams:

&bullObtain an Internet security suite that has anti-phishing software included. Sites like 6StarReviews.com can assist you in finding a great security software, including tools to fight phishing and spyware.

&bullIf you receive an email you feel is suspicious, immediately call or email your online bank or EBay, for example, to verify if it is real.

&bullDo not ever give out your pin, credit card number or Social Security number to a site claiming to be your bank: they will not ask for this information!

&bullMost banks will ask for your security questions you formed when you first made your account in case a situation like this arises. This is all they should ask you.

&bullMany banks and sites offer "report scams or phishing" links on their websites, this is a great way to fight back against that scammer who wanted to ruin your life.

While even the best internet security cannot fully shield you from a determined hacker or phisher, installing internet security software is a wonderful way to begin protecting yourself.

Many services combine anti-virus and anti-spyware software programs, as well as provide firewalls, anti-phishing software and security alerts. Remember, it is up to you to fight back.

Just like you wouldn't leave your front door and windows unlocked, your PC should be treated in the same manner.

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