How to Avoid Becoming a Phishing Victim

Simple precautions can keep info out of scammers' hands
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2009 1:19 AM CDT
How to Avoid Becoming a Phishing Victim
Microsoft and Google believe it was a phishing scam that resulted in tens of thousands of Hotmail and Gmail passwords being posted online.   (Shutter Stock)

Phishing scams are becoming a lot more sophisticated. Unwary Internet users can easily end up with their bank account and credit card details in the hands of crooks. CNET lists the best ways to avoid becoming a victim:

  • Change passwords regularly. Experts recommend that passwords be changed every three months or so, and warn against using the same password for multiple sites.
  • Click with caution. Any apparently legitimate email asking you to click a link to another site—especially if it mentions updating security information—could be from a rogue site. It's safer just to type in the URL yourself.

  • Look for secure sites. If you're being asked for information like credit card numbers, the URL should begin with https and there should be a padlock icon.
  • Use a phishing filter and anti-malware software. Newer version of most browsers have a phishing filter, and good security software can guard against malware that can steal passwords by logging keystrokes.
  • Think critically. If something seems too good be true, it almost certainly is.
(Read more phishing stories.)

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