The phishing fraud is another new game changer for Internet users. Previously prevalent on much of the Internet, phishing has now taken hold of primarily SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) traffic and is moving towards more malicious phishing websites that recruit users through web forms.
A few telltale signs to look for in a phishing site are misspelled URLs, lack of SSL (Secure Socket Layer) at the time of submitting the form and requests for entering passwords or billing information.
If you notice any of these telltale signs, you are being phished and should avoid the site immediately. To protect yourself from this type of Internet fraud, you can also report it to the company from which these ads were placed.
To help you avoid becoming a victim of phishing, here are a few helpful tips to protect you against this type of Internet threat.
1. Report suspicious sites and ads.
If you come across a website that is suspected to be fraudulent, report it to the Internet Fraud Complaint Center. They will forward the information to all the leading Internet security vendors so that no computer user has to experience what you have just seen.
2. Watch out for ourselves.
Phishing is nothing but a pack of lies put on bogus Web sites, Adware, spyware and malware. Purposely leaking confidential information such as usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, and e-mail addresses is nothing but a big threat to the user.
3. Most of our passwords are changing every day.
What is the best way to tell if a Web site is re-directing your default homepage to an unintended or fraudulent site? If your browser contains the unintended “txtr” string and you start browsing on the Web, immediately look for evidence of this by closing all windows except for one or two and try to find where these came from. Additionally, look at your desktop (usually in the Files>Global folder) and you may find some of these files associated with this e-mail message. If you find one or more of these files, it is imperative that you remove the files to maintain the integrity of your computer.
4. Unreliable anti-virus software.
Most Web-based threats are processed through our anti-virus software. It is very likely that we have installed an anti-virus software program that is placing us at risk. In fact, a recent survey found that 47% of respondents have begun to scan their computers for viruses; Mobility of anti-virus software is a concern, with half of them regarding virus infections as very important in 2006.
5. See if your computer is infected by a virus, don’t become a zombie computer.
Although many viruses replace the order of files on a computer, most computers are not seeing if they are infected. Computers are complex, and a lot of data is stored in memory. Even the most innocent of computer viruses need to find a way to get to “the server”.
If your computer is infected by a virus, the virus has to find a way to get to “the server” in order to continue its destructive ways. The best possible way to destroy data is to allow the virus to spread widely. This will make it extremely difficult for the virus to cause any further damage. If your computer is infected by a virus, you may have to seek professional help to remove the virus and restore your computer’s health.