Internet Security Software FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions about Internet Security Software
What is phishing and can I prevent myself from being victimized?
Phishing is a generic term for emails or websites that attempt to trick you into handing over your personal information to criminals that may use it to steal your identity, empty your bank account, make unauthorized charges on your credit cards or PayPal accounts or worse. One of the classic examples of phishing is when a criminal sends you an email that looks like it is coming from a trusted source, such as your bank or credit card company. These emails will typically lead you to a website that looks like your official bank or credit card company's website, but is really operated by criminals and identity thieves. This website may ask you to login to your bank or financial account. Once you submit your login information, the phishers now have access to your online account and can commit any number of crimes against you. These types of phishing attacks have been perpetrated against Citibank customers, PayPal users and even members of the popular social network Facebook, just to name a few notable examples.
In general, it is a good rule of thumb not to click on any links in emails from people you don't know and not to enter personal information on any websites linked to from emails or websites you don't trust. The best way to prevent being victimized by phishing scams is to always navigate directly to websites you trust. For example, if you receive an email from your bank informing you that you are required to login to your online account, it is a good idea to go directly to your bank's website through your web browser rather than clicking on any links in that email. Most Internet security software programs offer anti-phishing protection that will alert you to risks that various websites or emails may contain.
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