No Phishing Here!

February 10, 2011 at 4:58 am 3 comments

Cat’s love fish. I mean, we really love the smelly things. I can tell from 30 feet if my human had a tuna sandwich for lunch when she gets home from work–then I meow at her for twenty minutes for not letting me have any.

Computer cats love all kinds of fish too — except the kind that’s spelled phish.  You need to know what it is and what to do to avoid being “phished”.

What is Phishing?

Phishing (gee, I love how computer geeks misspell things) is a way that bad people try to trick you good folks into revealing your personal information.  (“Phishing for information”, get-it?)  Their goal is to get your credit card information, social security number, a password, or banking account.  When they get it, they can ruin your credit, steal your identity, access other personal information, or drain your funds.

Phishing Bait

The most typical way phishing scammers try to get to you is by sending you an official-looking e-mail with a trusted name. I’ve seen some phishing e-mails made to look like they’re from Bank of America, Walmart, eBay, or even CraigsList.  The e-mail sometimes make it appear that they have found someone tampering with your account or new security has resulted in your password expiring–something to make it sound urgent for you to respond immediately. Then the e-mail will have a link for you to click to verify your information. If you click on that link, guess what? You took the bait! Now you will be redirected to their fake website and asked to provide personal information.  And just like they say on those TV cop shows, “any information you give will be used against you”!

The Newest Phish: The Unemployed

More unemployed people are having a harder time trying to find a job–as weeks turn into months and bills pile up, people get desperate to cling on to any offer that has the promise of work.  And Phishers are exploiting this big time . From using fake e-mails offering working at home, to an offer from a well-known companies or recruiters who “happened to see your resume” and are looking to hire you “if you provide some additional information”. Unfortunately, many people do get hooked because they are in dire straits,  grasping any job offer like a drowning man grasps a tossed lifesaver–unaware they are clutching a cinder block.

Ways to Protect against Phishing

Internet browsers, like IE8 and Firefox have anti-phishing features, based on a listing of known phishing sites. Many Internet Security software in stores also includes monitoring sites for possible dangers such as phishing.

The best way to protect yourself from phishing is to check your e-mail. To see if that e-mail you got is a phishing scam, remember these tips:

  • No legitimate company will ask you to send e-mail with any personal information, like password or bank account number.
  • Any links in the e-mail will not point to the correct website of the legitimate company. Sometimes you can tell this by just moving your mouse over the link (don’t click!) and looking at the address that appears at the bottom part of your window.
  • If in the “To:” area, it just has some generic term like “Member” and does not use your actual e-mail address name, then it’s probably phishing.

There’s Good and Bad in Everything

While the Internet has made things like banking and shopping very convenient, you must be careful who you give your information to. If you are not sure if a website is really a phishing site, you can

  1. Check your paper statement or bill and call the toll-free number to verify it with an actual person, or
  2. Open your Internet browser and go to the company’s actual web site (don’t click any links found on the suspect e-mail).

Here is one time you want the phish to get away!

— cc, The Computer Cat

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Entry filed under: computer help, grandparents, Technology, virus alert. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

What’s a Firefox? This Phish Ain’t Byte-ing

3 Comments Add your own

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  • […] my articles This Phish Ain’t Byte-ing and No Phishing Here, I warned people about Bad Guys trying to steal their private information using fake […]

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I'm a little kitty. I try to help Humans who need computer help with my little blog. It's called "The Computer Cat's Corner" on https://meetcc.wordpress.com.

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