If you know what is the 'Fishing' then it's very easy
to understand the definition of 'Phishing'. Just
replace letter 'F' from the word Fishing with 'Ph'.
Yes I am not joking. I mean it! Phishing is higher
level of spam. Phishing is nothing but fishing in
the sea of Internet. The victimized Net users are
the fishes hooked by the hackers.
Phishing & Spoof Web sites
The role of hacker is to lure the innocent Netizens by
sending an e-mail from spoof sites, pseudo claiming to
be an legitimate enterprise in an attempt to force the
user into surrendering private information such as
password, credit card number, and social security
number etc; which will be used for identity theft.
The hyperlink in the e-mail directs the innocent user
to a spoof Web site where they are asked to
enter personal information like passwords, social
security, and bank account numbers. Basically hackers
create Spoof Web sites to steal the user's personal
The Idea Behind Spoof Sites
I can give you the well-known example in which users
received Spam e-mails from hackers misleading innocent
users. As if these mails came from eBay, claiming that
the user's account was about to be suspended unless he
clicked on the hyperlink in the e-mail and update the
credit card information hold by the genuine eBay web
site. The idea behind this scam is very simple as it
is relatively simple to make a Web site look like a
legitimate site. That is why the Phishing is also
called brand spoofing.
Tips To Stop Phishing & Report Phishing
* If you smell anything fishy (phishy) or if you
received an e-mail that appears to be from your bank
requesting you click a hyperlink in the e-mail and
verify your online banking information. Simply delete
such e-mail and make it thumb rule... never click that
hyperlink in the e-mail.
* Contact your bank or financial institution on phone
and confirm whether it has sent you such type of
* Report Phishing to Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
* Send Internet Phishing scam reports to local
authorities like police and crime bureau.
* Send details of a Phishing scam to the Anti-Phishing
Working Group (APWG) to help them to build database of
Phishing scams, and to alert the Netizens.
* Last but not the least if you can't afford to
neglect or you are tempted to think that the hyperlink
in the received e-mail is worth to click... take a
deep breath, think twice before clicking that
suspicious hyperlink and copy and paste the URL
(hyperlink) into the web browser's address field and
log on. This will help you to land on legitimate Web
site instead of spoof Web site.
Popular Targets Of Phishers
1) Banks & Financial Institutions.
2) Credit card companies.
3) Auction portals.
4) Online stores.
5) Online stock trading companies.
How To Smell Phishing?
It is very difficult for e-mail recipients to guess
what they have in their mailbox. They can't guess
Whether it is legitimate e-mail from an organization
With whom they do transactions. Although the "From"
Field of the e-mail may have the web site address of
That organization, and the hyperlink may also appear,
If the sender insists on clicking that hyperlink and
Unfortunately you click that hyperlink you will land
To a spoof Web site. To avoid this situation you must
Have that sense to smell something fishy (phi shy)
Because any legitimate web site never ask you to
Update your personal information simply by sending a
Hyperlink through the e-mail, use your commonsense and
Ask yourself a simple question, why the legitimate web
Site would ask you to update your personal information
through a hyperlink via e-mail, since that
organization has its own legitimate web site? I hope
you have got the answer.
Krishna Pai is a webmaster and a writer. Get Internet Security tips, Computer Tutorials, reviews, Hardware & Software Tips, How to guides at
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