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TECHNOLOGY TIPS - HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM PHISHING ON THE INTERNET

Cathy Mallers PhotoThe Internet is regarded as the best and quickest resource to do just about everything from finding entertainment to shopping to doing research.  With so much available, there's also the need to be aware and cautious in your use of the Internet.

Internet Phishing is one of those dangers.  Phishing is a criminal method of obtaining your most personal information. Some of the most common methods are stealing your password, credit card details, or even your identity. It's easy to avoid being victimized by phishing.

DON'T give your personal information to anyone.

This is the most basic guide in avoiding phishing. This mostly applies to e-mail, private messages on bulletin boards/social networks or chatting with your online friends. Social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook are constantly updating their privacy for users, but they are not a complete failsafe.  The best prevention is to keep your personal information personal.

If an e-mail message asks you to give your name, e-mail, password, credit card number, address, never reply to it, even if it seems like it's important. It might be one step to identity theft. So never, ever, give your personal information to anyone. 

Create strong passwords

Simple phishing is to crack passwords of accounts. The easier the password you have on your account, the easier it will be cracked. A combination of numbers and letters is the ideal password for those who want their accounts to be protected. Also create words using numbers for specific letters since most phishers use the dictionary for hacking your password.

Use secure online payment services

I'm a serious on-line shopper, and before using this service I will research the site to verify its authenticity of security.  This is easy since you can research about how secure the payment service is on search engines or from friends. Remember that you will give your credit card number and other valuable information so it's better to have some background knowledge than none at all.

Avoiding fake websites

Web browsers such as Firefox, Opera, and Internet Explorer have anti-phishing measures which should detect fake websites. If you are taken to a fake website, don't give out your personal information. Some fake websites request your username and password before entering the site. Double check the URL address is correct before you enter any password information.

Killing the spam e-mails

In most e-mails, there is a spam filter which automatically sends your spam in a different folder to be dealt with later. Spam e-mails are very dangerous and should be deleted immediately. The usual indication of spam is that it entices you to look inside with the subject and is usually from a person you don't know.

The Internet can be a great resource for a lot that you want to learn, see and do.  Like Mom always said, "Just be careful."

CATHY MALLERS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

Posted: Monday, June 21, 2010 2:04 PM by Dean's Team
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