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Beware Of Phishing Your Personal Information

Jun 25, 2008
Have you received emails from Paypal, eBay or your bank to ask you updating your personal information? Do you receive emails from some strangers to inform you of transferring or receiving a huge money from a foreign country? Most likely they are phishing for your identity and personal information.

You might receive an email directing you to visit a familiar website where you are being asked to update your personal information. The website needs you to verify or update your passwords, credit card numbers, social security number, or even your bank account number. You recognize the business name as one that you have conducted business with in the past. So, you click on the convenient ready link and proceed to provide all the information they have requested. Unfortunately, you find out much later that the website is bogus. It was created with the sole intent to steal your personal information. You, my friend, have just been phished.

Phishing is defined as the act of sending an email to a recipient falsely claiming to have an established, legitimate business. The intent of the phisher is to scam the recipient into surrendering their private information, and ultimately steal your identity.

It is not at easy as you think to spot an email phishing for information. At first glance, the email may look like it is from a legitimate company. The clickable link even appears to take you to the company website, when in fact, it is a fake website built to replicate the legitimate site.

Many of these people are professional criminals. They have spent a lot of time in creating emails that look authentic. Users need to review all emails requesting personal information carefully. Looks can be deceiving since they are capable of changing it easily and try to make their email look as legitimate as possible. They will even copy logos or images from the official site to use in their emails. Finally, they like to include a clickable link that the recipient can follow to conveniently update their information.

A great way to check the legitimacy of the link is to point at the link with your mouse. Then, look in the bottom left hand screen of your computer. The actual website address to which you are being directed will show up for you to view. It is a very quick and easy way to check if you are being directed to a legitimate site.

Finally, follow the golden rule. Never, ever, click the links within the text of the email from Paypal, eBay or your bank, and always delete the email immediately. Once you have deleted the email, empty the trash box in your email accounts as well. Generally they never ask you updating your personal data through email. They will ask you to login your account and update your personal information. If you are truly concerned that you are missing an important notice regarding one of your accounts, then type the full URL address of the website into your browser. At least then you can be confident that you are, in fact, being directed to the true and legitimate website.
About the Author
John Zhang is now participating in the Michael Cheney intensive 10-week personal coaching program on Automatic Income System. He would like to share with you what he has learnt through the program. Find out more at http://hbessentials.com.
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