The Evolution of Phishing
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According to Wikipedia, phishing “is the criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information.” If you are unfamiliar with the epidemic of phishing, it is high time that you educate yourself on the matter. Unfortunately, ignorance will not keep the danger of those who want your information at bay. Rather, if you are not educated about the dangers of phishing, you are even more vulnerable to it than most people.
Traditionally, the main method of phishing has been for criminals to send out massive amounts of e-mails to random e-mail addresses. These e-mails contain a link to a website that has some method of obtaining your private information. There are various ways that these websites can subtly retrieve your information.
The most common phishing scam is a “scam program.” The e-mail/website will entice you into joining some kind of program that you will quickly get wrapped up in. You may end up losing your Internet account passwords, financial information, personal identity, and large amounts of money.
Another method of obtaining your information is through a fake portal. You will be asked to register for some sort of website which will then capture your username and password and store it somewhere where it can be accessed and used against you.
No matter what type of phishing scam it is, generally it will promise things that sound really great and are designed to make you want to take part. This key fact will come in handy later when I explain how you can protect yourself against the dangers of phishing and scamming.
Fortunately, e-mail programs have gotten better at detecting these phishing e-mails and blocking them from ever getting to you. The result is that for some time, the number of people falling victim to phishing scams has rapidly decreased. Unfortunately, the scammers have gotten better at getting around this security. Because these are intelligent people that are trying very hard to steal other peoples’ hard earned money, they have made every effort to keep up their “living.” Now, according to PC World, phishers have begun making use of malware to attack their victims.
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