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Internet and E-Commerce

What Is Phishing?

The act of sending emails to a user falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft.  The email directs the user to visit a Web site where they are asked to update personal information, such as passwords and credit card, social security, and bank account numbers, that the legitimate organization already has.  The Web site, however, is bogus and set up only to steal the user’s information.

Some of the banks I visited were Bank of America, Wachovia, DFFCU, and others to determine how they are trying to keep us safe.  They basically are trying to keep their clients safe by educating them on the scenarios that could possibly be a scam.  On one bank’s website they urge clients to not click on the links presented in email but to manually type the banks website into your browser.  They also advise clients to install anti-spy ware, anti-virus, and a personal firewall on your computer to protect you from criminals gaining access to your computer.  Banks are definitely updating security to handle this threat by having secure transmissions, encryptions, virus protection and etc.  They want you to be very cautious giving your personal information to anyone even them.  Several banks have developed email and phone support to report any type of fraud or phishing.  Banks also have security features such as automatic sign off, security questions, and response teams that can warn you if anything happens out of the ordinary.  After reading about phishing I will definitely changing my habits on the web.


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