Don’t Go Phishing

Phishing, pronounced fishing, is now becoming an epidemic throughout the Internet. Every day, we hear of someone who’s got their identity stolen by phishing. This is with people who have checks posted under their name, ATM cards, or other identification. They still haven’t changed the password, though, so when someone calls them asking if they forgot their checkbook, or they see someone check out their account, they get worried. This is why it is called phishing.

Phishers will try to lure people in with catchy messages, good service upgrades, and really get you to give them one of your vital information. They might make up a reason why you have to update your account. They might even tell you that you need to add protection to your account to keep your information safe. The danger here is that you will actually end up with your identity stolen. If you are not careful, and do click on the link, you could end up adding more to your liability than you already have.

If you areIONSERKING your ATM PIN NUMBER, or other personal information without scanning it with your pin number through a link you may have been sent, is one of the easiest ways to end up with your identity stolen. Once you give these phishermen your pin number through a link, they will match it with another bogus number that will appear on lists of the top phishers. From there, they will be able to use this information to steal your identity, and potentially much more.

If you have given out your pin number through any other means, such as through the post, phone, or even fax, you should immediately change it. If this link seems too good to be true, it probably is. Phishing is becoming as serious as online phishing.

Job Seekers Beware

People seeking employment online are a big target for phishers. Phishers know that when someone is filling out applications or sending in resumes that they are forced to divulge some of their most personal information. Pretending to be potential employers, they will ask for your social security number and other personal information. Make sure you verify with the organization the person is telling you about.

Beware also! Phishers know that many people use the same password for all or most of their online accounts. They use this login information to help themselves access your other accounts, which they can then use to steal your personal information. This could lead to credit card fraud or even put you at risk of having your identity stolen. A few simple changes to your online accounts, timely installing anti-virus software, keeping firewalls turned on, and then making sure your computer is updated regularly could go a long way to making your computer much safer.

Beware Also

Phishers are now targeting consumers using e-mail messages. They will send consumers a message using the name of one of their main products, often promoting it as “Your Own Personal Nightmares.” However, there is no such thing as your personal nightmare. The reality is that this email is not actually from NightmareSpy and is more likely than not a link to one of the other four websites that are going after you.

These other websites are:

o Adobiaousyo FearInformedo I Like to Believeo Just Risk it!

Each of these websites is a well-known pressure tactic, like asking you to call a specific number in order to claim a lottery win. These are just a few of the many ways that these pressure tactics are put into action.

What is important is that we as consumers are aware of what we should and should not do in order to stay safe on the Internet. Individuals such as yourself must make an effort in both education and caution to avoid these tactics.

If you must conduct business with someone online, do it completely online. Do not transfer all your personal files onto a computer. Additionally, change your passwords on a regular basis. Because cyber criminals love to use these huge databases of stolen information, a weak password can be their friend.

Additionally, you can protect yourself from these personal information predators by using a virtual credit card service such as PayPal or, if you have a web site, consider using Protect My Account.