If you visit most of the websites of Philippine banks, you’ll probably notice a warning on their web page about phishing. So what exactly is it all about?
According to Wikipedia.com, phishing is is the act of attempting to acquire information such as user names, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Phishing is commonly done through sending email with a link to a bogus website.
This bogus website is exactly the same as the true web page of the bank or any financial institution. Normally, phishing site is a clone of the online banking website of many banks and it is very difficult to differentiate between the two which is fake and true.
The term phishing is coined from the word “fishing” which is almost the same concept. In “fishing”, people normally use a fishing rod and a bait to catch the fish. On the other hand, “phishing” also uses rod and a “bait” to catch or lure potential victims.
As I said before, criminals may use emails and websites to catch potential victims. When a victim eat the “bait” (through the link that you might click), his financial information may be compromised or stolen without your knowledge.
As a result, potential loss of money may be expected. Criminals may also sell or use your financial information to do other illegal activities like using your credit card to buy products online.
Many developed countries have their own laws protecting their citizens against crimes committed via the Internet. One agency in the US that protects consumers is the Federal Trade Commission. In the Philippines, cyber crime law was enacted to protect citizens against crime being made through the web.
How Can You Prevent Fishing?
Just like the old saying, “prevention is better than cure”, prevention is also very applicable when dealing with phishing. If you are vigilant and very aware of phishing email or website, you will not fall as a victim, here are several tips you can do to prevent it.
1. Be Vigilant.
When logging in to your Internet banking, make sure that you visit the authentic website. It is always better to bookmark your online banking site so that whenever you need to access it, you’ll know it is the right one.
Authentic Internet banking site has https in the URL address. It means the site is protected from any outside threat like hacking.
2. Do Not Entertain Any Unsolicited Emails
Do not follow any emails that you don’t know where it is coming from. In addition, do not click any link from any un-solicited emails because it may lead to a bogus website or phishing site.
If you click the link, it is like your eating the “bait” little by little. At the end, you will eat the whole bait and become a victim of identity theft.
3. Use GMail for your email needs
GMail has the best spam filtering among the email providers. I’m using it for many years now and I could say it is really good for filtering any spam which can can also be a phishing email.
4. Knowledge plus Action is the Key
Be informed that no banks will send email telling you to change your financial information via the Internet or through the email because it is not a safe method. Normally, when the bank needs to change something about your account, they will do it through the telephone with voice recording.
Therefore, if you already know that no banks will get your financial data via email, do not read or follow anymore those emails requesting you to click a link or go to a website. Rightly act what you have learned.
The most distinguishing feature of a phishing email or website is that it requires you to send or input your financial data like your credit card details and Internet banking user name and password. You can prevent phishing with the knowledge and free tools that you can have.
With the tips mentioned above, you can spot any phishing attempt that might steal any financial information that you have. Do you know other measures to prevent phishing? Please share in the comment section below. Thanks!
Image Source: Pixabay