How to Beat Online Fraudster

By | December 19, 2005

Right clicking on a web page within the browser will reveal a properties dialog box that provides the actual URL of the underlying webpage. You can quickly verify that the information being shown in the address bar within the browser matches the information shown on the properties dialog.

If Phishing isn´t bad enough, this year, Pharming will become an even bigger threat. Pharming is the technological evolution of Phishing, and while it requires a more sophisticated and technically savvy cyber criminal, it is growing rapidly.

Rather then a reliance on social engineering and simple browser tricks to steal your personal financial information, Pharmers rely more upon their technical skills.

A skilful Pharmer will take advantage of unpatched and vulnerable software using worms and viruses to compromise Internet DNS servers or host files on personal computers to transparently redirect consumers to illegitimate websites to their harvest personal financial information.

Pharming eliminates any of the telltale signs that you have been directed to an illegitimate fake website.

Be on your guard this holiday season – Ho Ho Oh No – Don´t let Phishers and Pharmers become your “Nightmare before Christmas.” Here are some tips:

1) Be certain your PC´s operating system is up-to-date with the latest security patches as well as your Anti Virus and Firewall software.

2) No matter how official it looks never click on an embedded URL contained in any email. Manually enter the URL in your browser address bar for your banking and credit card websites.

3) Do not fill in forms contained within email, your personal financial information should never be sent by email. Only send your personal financial information via a secure website – verify that the URL contains https:// and that the closed lock appears on the lower right hand side of the browser for a secure website connection.

4) Never click on an email attachment unless you know the sender and you were in fact expecting to receive the attachment.

5) Monitor your banking and credit card accounts on line and check for illegitimate transactions regularly.

6) Use an on line credit monitoring service that offers alerts when there are any changes to your credit report i.e. new accounts and purchases.

7) Register with a credit card security system that requires a password to authorize transactions, such as Verified by Visa or MasterCard SecureCode.

8) Do not use the auto fill facility on websites for credit card and other personal details.

9) Use alternative secure online payment systems such as PayPal.

10) Finally, common sense is your best defense if it looks too good to be true then it probably is.

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