Friday, December 09, 2005

Phishing

You don't know what phishing is? Well, it is basically a fraud attempt using e-mail messages. It is usually a malicious person who impersonates a big corporation, usually banks, or online services like eBay or Paypal, and ask you to go to some site and enter your credentials (username/password/card #) for whatever reason.

What people usually don't know is that it is easy to make a link that leads somewhere else than what it says. For example, it is easy for me to make a link to one website, and make it look like another. For example: www.patatebleue.com links to google.

So here are the rules...
  • Banks never communicate with their clients by e-mail.
  • Watch out for typos. Phising are usually full of mistakes.
  • You should never be prompted by e-mail to "refresh" your password.
  • Businesses don't deactivate their client's account just for the fun of it. Think about it: Customers are of value for a business, why close accounts? Also, most business gather information about their customers (age, gender, occupation, etc) that they use for statistics later. And, after all, why would risk losing a customer by deactivating an account? It costs basically to keep a stale account open.
  • If you have any doubts, don't do anything and ask someone who has a clue (yes, I should fit in this definition)

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