How To Spot A Phishing Scam

The internet and advances in information technology have provided the world with great access to information and has paved the way for better connectivity around the globe. However, like any other milestone, it also has it pros and cons. The greatest benefit being that which I have just mentioned, and the disadvantage is that because of this, people have also become more susceptible to identity theft, internet scams and phishing. Opportunists loom the Net to look for innocent preys. Don't take the bait. Here are some useful information on how you can protect yourself from a phishing scam:

What does PHISHING mean?

Phishing is the criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as user names, passwords and credit card details, by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Communications purporting to be from Pay Pal, eBay, You tube or online banks are commonly used to lure the unsuspecting. Phishing is typically carried out by e-mail or instant messaging, and it often directs users to enter details at a website. Phishing is an example of social engineering techniques used to fool users.

How to spot a Phishing scam:

- If you receive an email purporting to be from a bank (or even from Pay Pal) asking you to confirm information such as account details and passwords, you've been phished. Real banks never send these emails.

- Spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors. Some scammers are good, but even the best make basic mistakes.

- There's a link and you don't recognize the address. Why would your bank ask you to reply to a different address than the usual one.

- The whole email is a "hot link" (you see the clickable hand symbol, not your usual pointer) - the fraudsters are pointing you to a hidden site.

- You don't have an account with that bank, so why are they emailing you?

- The email starts - "Dear Customer", banks would normally address you by your given name. On my next post, I'll share with you 10 ways to protect yourself from identity theft. See you...

Wikipedia, Phishing definition

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