Phishing Attacks: Spread the Word

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Recently I received a letter from my bank about phishing, the act of sending an e-mail to a user falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam users into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft. The letter was simply a warning about how it occurs. Usually conducted through mass e-mailing, these e-mails request confidential financial information such as PINs, account numbers, Social Security numbers, user names or passwords. I was grateful that my bank took the extra step to inform me about such acts and remind me that it would never solicit confidential information by e-mail or by telephone.

 

Although I have received such bait in the past, supposedly from eBay, that claimed my account was about to be suspended unless I clicked on the provided link and updated my credit card information, I never took a bite. Now that was an easy piece of bait to resist considering I don’t have an account on eBay, but nonetheless made me wonder how many people actually buy into these scams and provide confidential, personal information in such scenarios.

 

According to a recent report conducted by MessageLabs, a provider of messaging security and management services, there will be continued growth in targeted e-mail attacks, increasing sophistication in phishing attacks against businesses this year. So what can be done about this not so promising news?

 

Let us all take some guidance from organizations, like my bank, and get the word out—especially to aging baby boomers who may think phishing means a day out on a lake reeling in bass with their grandchildren.

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