PC-Whisperer on Call
© Rick Lohmeyer, 2011  301-404-2630
Phishing Phishing is acquiring sensitive information such as passwords and credit information by pretending to be a trustworthy entity like a bank, utility or broker. What is phishing? Someone asking for personal information in an email, a website or in a phone call Usually done via email or instant messaging, sometimes by phone Uses fake websites that look and feel real Most commonly used for customers of banks and online payment services, new scams pretend to be the IRS or the FBI Half of phishing has been traced to Russia No trustworthy company will ask for your information in an email or on the phone - they already have the information they need.
Drawing of tech support person with headset
Get a call or email asking for private information? Call the company yourself.  Do not trust anyone who calls you. Do you really know who is on the phone?  Dont’ believe anyone who tells you they just need to confirm some information, or who says you won a contest and they need your account information to credit your winnings. 
How to Protect Yourself from Phishing Opt out of everything from mailing lists to requests to use your personal information for whatever purpose is intended, or use a disposable or webmail address. Beware of sites that offer some sort of reward or prize in exchange for your contact or other information. Never respond to spam by using their "click here to unsubscribe" or "follow this link for removal from our list". The one and only thing this does is verify that the spam was delivered to a valid e-mail address and confirm that you saw it. Filter out the Spam. Take advantage of the built-in junk mail filters inside your e-mail client. In addition, configure your own filters to automatically trash or delete incoming e- mail that contains certain keywords. By using a combination of various filters you can noticeably reduce the amount of spam reaching your inbox. Never give your personal e-mail address to a commercial vendor. This applies to anything from making a purchase online to responding to an online survey. Apply for a free Webmail account or subscribe to a Disposable E-mail Service and use that address. Never use your personal e-mail address when posting to message boards or newsgroups. Always use a webmail address if a valid address must be supplied. If you must use your personal address, or any valid address you plan to keep, always insert some text that the viewer will know to remove when responding to you. Never reveal personal details to strangers. Period. Realize you may be monitored at work. Avoid sending highly personal e-mail to anyone, and keep sensitive files on your home computer, not at work. Use anonymizers cautiously. They are not as private and secure as you might think. It is far better to avoid the sites where an anonymizer might be needed. You bank, your broker, the utility companies and all other reputable businesses will never ask you to “verify your password” or update your financial information. If you get a request by email, call they business and speak to someone before giving information online or filling in a form on a website. Use a home shredder for any document with financial or personal information before putting it into the trash. Don’t believe anyone on the phone, unless you initiated the call and are sure you are talking to someone at the company in question. Watch the browser address bar to check for the lock on a secure page (any page using financial information), and to be sure the address matches the company name you wish to go to.
Online Fraud
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