Tricking people to part with account information

What is phishing?

Phishing is when someone sends an illegitimate email or message claiming to be a trusted company or organisation to gain access to one's personal account information. Once they gain access to this personal information they will use it for identity theft. The email directs the person to their fake website where they tell the person to update their personal information; for example bank details, passwords or other things that the legitimate company will have.

How to recognise phishing emails

Phishing emails usually take the form of a trusted organisation like your bank, credit card company or a social networking site. These emails will often contain a legitimate looking logo or information taken from the legitimate company's website. This email may also include information about you taken from your social networking pages to try and make the email look more convincing. Legitimate businesses should not ask you to send them personal information through email so this should indicate that this is a fraudster.

Types of Phishing scams

The first type of phishing scam is emails, which have been addressed above. Another phishing scam is spear phishing, which is where you recieve an email which looks like it came from an employer or co-worker. Other forms of phishing include messages saying that you have won the lottery or saying that if you do not respond within 48 hours your account will be closed.

Protection from Phishing scams

To prevent phishing scams you can keep your operating system up to date and install an up to date internet security suite.