Thursday, March 6, 2008

An Alternative Method To Protecting Yourself From Phishing

Phishing is one of the leading trends in cyber crime. Basically, phishing occurs when websites that appear to be the one you are looking for are actually those belonging to people that want to steal your personal information. While some web browsers and internet security softwares will attempt to protect you from phishing attacks, they are not perfect. In many cases, the end goal of phishing is to obtain enough personal information to steal your credit cards numbers, or access to bank accounts. Along with creating websites and emails that mimic legitimate businesses like paypal, phishing is also evolving into other trends. Basically, anything that will get you to transmit personal and financial information can be exploited for phishing purposes. This includes social websites, as well as those set up for the sale of merchandise. One of the best things you can do is make sure that anything you enroll in online does not provide the same information that you gave to your banks and other lenders. This is especially important if you enjoy singing up for news forums, or other groups that ask identifying questions that you answered for your bank. As an example, the last four digits of your social security number, or mother s maiden name are very common questions. Unfortunately, in the hands of someone intent on phishing, this information can be used to obtain your credit card information. Therefore, when it comes to online forums where you do not expect to engage in financial transfers, treat your password backups like a real password. This includes using a different backup for each site you enroll with. Also, you should use a "hardened password" that includes at least 8 letters, one number, and a non alpha-numeric character. Not only will this stymie phishing attempts, if they do try to use the information you gave them, you will know exactly what site the fraudulent activity came from. If you find yourself wanting to open a financial account online, and need to provide information similar to what has been requested by your credit card company, or bank, the same advice applies. Simply treat your backup information like a secure password. With a legitimate bank or credit card institution, you can always call them later on and have these things reset if need be. This is far less troublesome than becoming the victim of a phishing attack. Because cyber crime is only limited by the ideas that people get, many different schemes can be used to steal personal information. Over the years, phishing has evolved as the premier way to gain financial information and steal personal identities. Banks and many other financial institutions often utilize backup passwords or other information to help identify you. When enrolling in social groups, it is vital to treat this information like any other type of personal information. By using words or information different from what you would use with your bank, you may well help prevent a phishing attack, and also help investigators determine where it came from. Matt D Murren owns and operates - Phishing .

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