Hooked on Phishing
Trust No One!
No, this isn’t an X-File. I’m talking about when you receive an e-mail that asks for your private information. Reputable companies do not send e-mails fishing for personal information. So the rule of thumb is assume that it’s a fake and don’t reply — it’s that easy.
Phishing is one of the fastest-growing forms of personal fraud in the world. Consumers are the obvious victims, but the damage can spread far wider, often hurting a company’s finances and reputation, and undermine consumer confidence in e-commerce.
“Phishers hijack brands for the purpose of fraud and degrade consumers’ trust in those brands. That’s what makes phishing so different than other types of online threats,” said Kim Legelis, director of industry solutions at security software maker Symantec.
The scammers typically send an e-mail that appears to come from a trusted company such as a bank or an e-commerce Web site. The phishing messages attempt to lure people to a bogus Web site, where they’re asked to divulge sensitive personal information. The attackers can then use those details to steal money from the victims’ accounts.
According to a report from online privacy watchdog Truste, 7 out of 10 people who go online have received phishing e-mails, and 15 percent of those have successfully been duped into providing personal information.