09 September 2010
Gone #Phishing and your the fish!
Believe it or not, there are rascals inhabiting this very planet, their consequence emanates from under the woodwork everywhere, and arrives without warning at your inbox.
These communiqués, in the form of emails, are simply the result of people who have gone “phishing,” not to be confused with the term “gone fishing,” a practice no one seems to object to except maybe the fish. Still these rogues are after a fish, and the fish my friend is you!
Phishing employs both technical schemes and reliance on your lack of caution, to gain your personal identity and financial information data.
The way they hook their victim is through a cloaked link (the bait) leading their unsuspecting fish, that’s you, to a counterfeit website carefully designed to trick their catch (you) into divulging private financial data such as, credit card numbers, usernames, passwords, social security numbers, and so forth.
These traps are intermingled with everyday spam, or whatever passes as spam, littering your inbox. In reality, ordinary spam is merely bothersome at worst, requiring its disposal through excessive use of the delete key, yet phishing can be far more destructive.
These deceptive ploys fraught with harmful intentions are daily appearing in mail boxes everywhere, arriving from outside and inside the country highlighting the Internets lack of policing and our peril.
An email message can be a useful and handy tool, yet it’s tailor-made for this type of villain. The reminder you receive can appear as a genuine concern from a business you are doing commerce with, and have already entrusted your personal information.
The subject line of these bogus emails reads something like, “We suspect an unauthorized transaction on your account,” then sets the hook by declaring only “good intentions” by stating, “To ensure your account is not compromised, please click the link below and confirm your identity.”
Or, the phony email might assert that, “During our regular verification of accounts we couldn’t verify your information.” This phrase is calculated to put you into a panic, then comes the bait, please click here to update and verify your information.” And, if you do, they win!
And yes, I am not too proud to admit a close friend of mine, in his newbie days, fell prey to this blatant deception. Come to think of it, his name and description is curiously the same as mine. Oh well, I know it couldn’t have been me, as I wouldn’t fall for such a ruse. Then again!
Following this incident, I have developed a simple rule, I never respond through any email allegedly from anyone I’m doing business with, regardless of my lack of suspicion. Where I feel it’s of proper concern, I go directly through my browser to the site, enter and check it out.
This advice I offer you like a brother, never react directly with any message that poses a serious concern and provides a “convenient” link for you to deposit your critical information. It could be the most costly mistake of your life.
While there are sites where you can forward these poison pills, your only real protection, is you. Don’t rely on any company, notwithstanding their plausible concerns, for in the end, you retain the power of the delete button, use it wisely.
By the bye, phishing is often referred to as “spoofing,” what a harmless expression. As if, “sure I stole your identity, cleaned out your bank account, left you with huge financial losses to overcome, but hey, I was only spoofing!”