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Phishing - What You Should Know About It

Aug 17, 2007
They may be people you personally know or people you just know online. Whatever the case, there is always somebody on the other end of your internet connection.

As accessible and easy daily life is now thanks to the internet, there are disadvantages from this convenience. Criminal activities such as illiciting sexual activities on the web is an example of online problems society has to deal with.

Another online criminal activity is phishing. Phishing is acquiring personal information like passwords and credit card details by pretending to be a representative of a company. Phishing is done through email or instant messaging.

It is called "phishing" because it similar to the recretional activity fishing. It "fishes" for users' personal information such as passwords and financial data.

Phishers create accounts on AOL by using fake algorithmically generated credit card numbers. These accounts are maintained for a number of months. Due to the reports of phishing incidences, AOL has brought in measures preventing this from happening by securing the data of their users and confiming the information of those signing up for AOL accounts.

On AOL, a phisher pretends that he is an AOL employee and sends out instant messages to random customers which asks for passwords of their account. Luring the victim further, the phisher includes in the message "verify your account" or "confirm billing information."

Thus, a number of clients get lured in and give off their password. Once the phisher gains access of this sensitive information, he can use the victim's account for spamming. Check your inbox and take a look at the spam messages you've received. Yes, those are real names of people. These people's accounts have been hacked and is now being used to relay spam messages.

Because of this, AOL assures their clients that no one from the staff of AOL ask for their personal or billing information. Also, AOL has created a system which deactivates accounts as soon as there are signs that it is used for phishing.

Other recent phishing incidences involve that of the Internal Revenue Service. There is a way for phishers to know the bank of their potential victim. Then they pose as an employee of that bank and send an email to their victim.

Also, social networking sites can be a home-base for phishers because personal details that have been printed online are used for identity theft. Statistics show that over 70% phishing attempts are done in social networks.

Another technique used by phishers is coming up with a link in an email that belongs to a fake organization. They often use misspelled URLs or subdomains to trick potential victims.

Note the web address and check the @ symbol. For example, http://www.google.com@members.tripod.com may be a link that can easily deceive anyone casually observing the page. However, whoever clicks on this will be merely directed to a page that simply does not exist.
About the Author
James Yee Owned a Web Hosting Business and shares about PC security. Protect Your PC Now!
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